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Full text of "The history of freemasonry; from the building of the House of the Lord, and its progress throughout the civilized world, down to the present time. The only history of ancient craft masonry ever published, except a sketch of forty-eight pages by Doctor Anderson in 1723. To which is added a history of the craft in the United States. Vol 1"

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J. W. S. MITCHELL, M. D., 



Philadelphia, Pa. : 


Copyrighted according to Act of Congress. 

PREFi 0 E 

It has been said that the business of a historian is to detail facta, 
unaccompanied by his opinions in favor of, or against particular theories 
Others go further, and say that “ theory in history is preposterous.” Now 
all this sounds very well ; as all men would be likely to agree in saying 
that the collation and proper arrangement of facts does indeed constitute 
history. But it is a question of grave importance, whether, under cer- 
tain circumstances, it does not become the duty of the historian to do 
something more than this. How should we, at the present day, be able 
to arrive at a knowledge of some of the most important events of the 
middle ag(s, had not historians, after haviug detailed the known facts, 
reasoned from cause to effect, in order to prove the existence of other 
f acts, not self-evident ? One class of historians give us a very interesting 
and somewhat detailed account of the reign of Queen Semirami s, while 
another class, equally honest and intelligent, tell us that no such Queen 
ever lived, though both agree in stating the important facts of the sup- 
posed reign. Here is a palpable contradiction ; and yet is it possible, by 
the use of other facts and reasonable deductions, drawn from thence, to 
determine which is right. Even at the present day, witnesses are being 
exhumed from the bowels of the earth, which, of themselves, speak no lan- 
guage now understood, but, when submitted to the antiquarian tests, and 
compared with other and known developments, are made to testify of 
important truths which have been buried from the knowledge of men 
for ages past. It is a historical fact, that Cortes found a stone at the 
city of Mexico, so large that no man of his, or the present age, has been 
able to say by what power it had been elevated to its then situation. 
And must this mystery forever remain necessarily unsolved, because nothing 
can be found on record to explain it ? On the contrary, should the 
means be discovered for raising similar bodies, would it not be the busi- 
ness of the historian, after detailing this fact, to reason upon the proba- 
bility of the use of a similar power by the aborigines of Mexico? It »» 



a historical fact, that the said stone contained a great number of device* 
and hieroglyphics, which could not be explained, even by the natives. 
And should this, or any future age, discover a key capable of clearly un- 
raveling a part of these mystic symbols, may not the historiau, after 
detailing this fact and its developments, proceed to explain the relative 
position of the remainder, and deduce from thence the probable reading 
of the whole? 

In like manner, where truth has been covered up, or mystified by 
fiction, it would seem to be the writer’s duty to hunt up and bring to 
bear all accredited testimony within his reach, in order to lift the vail 
and expose the deception. 

We have reason to believe that Masonry was, originally, a secret Society 
and was governed by laws known only to the members. We read of old 
manuscripts being in the hands of private members, at an early day, but 
we have evidence tending to show that those manuscripts had reference 
alone to the fundamental laws, so far as they could be written, together 
with such usages, as, at an early day, were not considered to belong 
exclusively to the Lodge room ; and yet, even these were held to be ex- 
clusively the property of the initiated, and with which the world had 
no right to become acquainted. Such, it is thought, was the condition 

of things until the seventeenth century, when some publications were 
made, but so meagre and unsatisfactory to the world, as to serve only to 
whet the curiosity of the lovers of ancient lore. Soon after the reorgani 
zation of Masonry in London, and the establishment of the present Grand 
Lodge system, a spirit of inquiry was set on foot by Grand Master 
Payne, for all reliable evidences of the true laws, usages, and, if possible, 
evidences of the history of the Society. As early as 1719, the Grand 
Lodge made a request to all private Masons, to bring, or send forward all 
manuscripts in their hands; which request was generally complied with, 
though a few, who still adhered to the old teaching, that no publications 
were allowable, committed to the flames some Masonic papers, rather than 
risk them in the hands of their descendants. It is believed, however, that 
no material loss was sustained by the burning of said manuscripts, as 
those that were preserved contained all the important facts which had 
ever been written. And yet, after they were all carefully examined, it was 
found that they furnished but little more than an index, pointing to the 
rituals and traditions of the Order. Doctor Anderson was appointed a 



committee to collate the Ad laws, and, as far as practicable, write a his- 
tory of English Masonry : and, while we have reason to believe that he 
faithfully collated and digested the laws, we are at a loss to account for 
the position he assumed in fixing the origin of Masonry. The Doctor 
did not claim that the manuscripts collected furnished his data ; on the 
contrary, it was then generally believed that no such manuscripts had 
ever existed. We further know that he did not rely upon the legends 

or traditions of Masonry, for these all go to disprove his theory, viz., 
that the Institution was as old as the world. It is hardly fair to sup- 
pose the Doctor did not know that, down to that period, the Fraternity 
believed that the origin of Masonry was known only from the teachings 
of the Lodge room ; and yet he seemed to attach more importance to 
the supposed examination of a brother by Henry VI., in which the 
witness is made to say that “ Masonry was known to the man in the 
West, before the man in the East/' and, in assuming the hypothesis 
that Masonry was about as old as the world, very properly avoided 

any reference to those traditions which point to the man who was the 

instrument in bringing it into being, and perfecting its teachings. 

When Doctor Anderson wrote, Masonry was but just merging from 
the dark gloom of threatened annihilation, and it is not unfair to sup 
pose that its first historian was more or less influenced by a desire to 
win for it popularity : and if the great body of men were then, as now 
more readily won by marvelous tales, than by simple and plain truth a, 
we may conclude it was a master-stroke of the pen to deal in fiction ; 
and this the more readily, because, admitting that he knew the Lodge 
room alone could furnish reliable testimony ; he knew that Masons would 
not then have tolerated a publication of the facts. Certain it is, that 
the position he assumed carried with it the privilege of entering toe 

oroad field of conjecture, and afforded him an opportunity to feed the 
fancy of his readers with both facts and fiction : and the latter is equally 
as safe from criticism, for nowhere upon record could be found anything 
which would disprove either his hypothesis or his conclusions ; in short, 
as the facts had never been published, the world was not prepared to 
gainsay his (the most extravagant) claims of its antiquity, nor to pro- 
nounce his theory “ the baseless fabric of a dream ! ” 

Since the publication of Anderson’s Constitutions , containing a very 
kithful account of English Masonry, and a fancy sketch of its origin, 



many sketches have been written, claiming to be historical, no two of 
which, it is believed, agree as to the time when the Order was insto* 
toted. These writers may be classed under four heads, and may be 
designated as follows : 

First, those who, in the main, agree with Anderson as to the origin 
of Masonry, but who undertake to fix the precise date — some at the 
Garden of Eden, some in the days of Enoch, some in the days of Noah, 
and last, though not least, a celebrated divine of the present day fixes 
its existence in “ the great empyrean of space, before this world was 
created. ” 

The second class, conceiving that something very like Freemasonry 
was absolutely necessary to relieve the descendants of Noah from the 
curse which God entailed upon them, by confounding their language, as 
sume the hypothesis that Masonry was instituted at the Tower of Babel, 
before the dispersion, thus affording the tribes a universal language. 

The third class charge that the preceding classes are dependent upon 
mere theory, unsupported by any known facts for their conclusions, and, 
therefore, resolved to have, themselves, authentic testimony of the ex- 
istence of the very oldest secret society, and, in their success in proving, 
from authentic records, the early existence of the Egyptian Mysteries, 
very wisely conclude that it is worse than useless to go further in their 
antiquarian researches, and jump to the conclusion that either Freema- 
sonry is the mother of the Egyptian Mysteries, or vice versa. Thus, 
by some of this class, Masonry is the mother, and by others she is the 

The fourth class take exceptions to all the doctrines of the foregoing 
— deny the antiquity claimed for the Society, and undertake to show, 
from recorded testimony, that Masonry originated with the Orders of 
Knighthood, during the Crusades to the Holy Laird. 

And now another adventurer enters the field, and, though “ solitary and 
alone, ” he has the temerity to venture the opinion, that his predecessors 
were all wrong — that the origin of Masonry is not a matter of doubt, 
or should not be, to any well informed Mason, whose special attention 
has been called to a few well known tacts ; on the contrary, that its 
origin is so clearly and minutely detailed in the Lodge room, that all 
Masons must be brought to see that there alone can trie whole truth be 
learned. This being the hypothesis of the Author of this work, it wiT 



be seen, from the facts before stated, that it would be impossible for him 
to write what he believes to be a true history of the Order, and through- 
out confine himself to a derail of recorded facts. And, aside from the 
consideration of the origin of Masonry, by what means may he proceed 
to detail its rise and progress throughout the civilized world, relying 
alone on recorded testimony, while only detached parcels of the whole 
truth have ever been published? Doctor Anderson has given us more 
historical detail than any other writer, and yet his investigations were 
confined mainly to England, Scotland, and Ireland; and, indeed, strictly 
speaking, his history is only complete, so far as it relates to the South 
of England, or, more properly, the city of London. 

Preston copied from Anderson, and brought down the history of the 
Grand Lodge of England, and its dependencies, to his own time. Doctor 
Oliver extended Preston’s history through a period of ten years, but con- 
fined himself almost exclusively to his own Grand Lodge. 

Laurie’s history is almost a literal copy of Anderson’s, except of the 
Order in Scotland, which is much more minutely given. There are many 
volumes in the German and French languages, written with great ability, 
but, as far as the Author can judge, they all have reference to the various 
modern degrees, called Masonry. 

From what has been said, it will be seen that the Author relies upon 
the traditions for much, very much of the material upon which to found 
his history, and, therefore, he must needs do all in his power to clear 
away the rubbish, and bring to light those sacred truths which have been 
thrown over by careless and unskillful workmen, and which, for more than 
a century, have been covered up, deeper and deeper, by fancy sketches of 
imaginary theory. If the traditions of Masonry are not reliable as au- 
thority for the foundation of a historical detail, then are they the merest 
nhantoms of a distempered imagination, and we should blush to use them 
n the Lodge room, as the foundation of all our instructions. On the 
contrary, if they merit the high place they now occupy, as teachers of 
those great truths which, for ages past, have served to unite the discordant 
materials incident to man’s nature, and link together a mighty Brother- 
hood, then are they entitled to all credit, and, by their aid, may the 
origin of Masonry be clearly pointed out, and a true history of the 
Order may be written and published to the world, with outlines sufficient- 
ly broad, and details sufficiently clear, to answer the just demands of the 



uninitiated, and with still more precision to the understanding of the 
Craft; and all this, without doing violence to the laws of secrecy. With 
these convictions, the Author has undertaken to prove that Masonry took 
its origin just where, and in the precise manner pointed out by our rituals 
and traditions ; and whenever and wherever authenticated facts were to 
be found, he has endeavored to detail them impartially, without pausing 
to inquire whether they tended to prove or disprove his peculiar opinions. 
And where facts were not available, he has endeavored to glean the 
truth by analogy and sound deductions. 

In his history and review of the great batch of modern degrees, called, 
by their inventors, Masonic degrees, the Author has endeavored to have 
but one great end in view, viz., to show what is, and what is not Free 
masonry, and to warn the true Fraternity against amalgamations or 
entangling alliances with all outside institutions, however praiseworthy 
their objects and ends may be. 




Freemasonry a Secret Society 17 

To the Traditions are we indebted for the 

Early History 17 

The origin of Masonry Investigated 18 

Preston’s Views 18 

The Early History of the World 20 

Dr. Oliver’s Opinions Reviewed 23 

The Cabiri 38 

Dr. Oliver’s Initiation of Moses by Jehovah.. 39 
uws by Moses to Lodges and Chapters, — 

Oliver 40 

Masonry the True Religion 46 

Masonry Aids to Spread the Gospel to Hea- 
thens 47 


The Author’s Opinion of the Origin of Ma- 
sonry 50 

Masonry is of Divine Origin 53 

Solomon the instrument in establishing Ma- 
sonry 54 

The Three Degrees of Masonry, History of. . . 61 

Entered Prentice 63 


The Fellow Craft, History of 66 

Dodges allowed to confer only the Appren- 
tice Degree 68 

Second Section of the Fellow Craft’s Degree.. 71 
Distinction between Fellow and Fellow Craft. 74 

The City of David 76 

King Solomon to King Hiram 77 

Hiram Abiff. 78 

Classification of the Workmen on the Temple 80 


Solomon’s Temple 83 

Celebration of the Cape-Stone 86 

Dr. Oliver’s Traditions of the Curious Stones. 88 

Solomon the First Master 89 

The Buildings Erected Dy Solomon 90 


Dodges Established — Grand Lodge at Jeru- 


Death of Solomon 9^ 

Division of Solomon’s Kingdom 9-1 

Influence of Solomon’s Masons 96 

Death of Josiah, King of Judah 37 

Destruction of Jerusalem 98 


Liberation of the Jews from Captivity 101 

Reign of Cyrus 102 

Artaxerxes, Reign of 103 

Darius, Reign of 103 

Zerubbabel 104 

Second Temple 104 

Masonry in Lesser Asia 104 

Pythagoras 106 


Alexander, the Macedonian Ill 

Death of Alexander the Great 113 

Euclid 113 

Ptolemy Soter 113 

Alexandrian Library 115 

Tower of Phara oh 11* 


Asdrubal’s Wife Curses Her Husband 121 

City of Rhodes 117 

Colossal Statue 118 

Wall of China 122 

Lord Amherst’s Visit to China 123 


Fall of Carthage 127 

The Tuscan Order of Architecture 127 

Pompey the Great 128 

Masonry in Rome 128 

Masonry in Judea 132 

Reign of Herod 138 


Before Christ Forty Years , . lit 

Flight of Herod 184 

Judea in the Hands of a Stranger 137 

Masonry Neglected Wlte 

Charlemagne, Reigi. of 141 





The First Treatise on Architecture. . . 143 

Architecture of the Sixteenth Century Com- 
pared 145 


Masonry in England, Introduction of 146 

Introduction of the Saxons into England. . . . 151 

London Inclosed with a Stone Wall ' 151 

Origin of the Name England 153 

Masonic Records Lost in the Wars with the 

Druids 154 

Prince Edwin 154 

Grand Lodge at York... 155 

King Athelstan 158 

First Prince of Wales 161 

Oxford College Built 161 

The Templars Erect their Dormus Dei 161 

Celebration of the Cape-Stone of Westminster 

Abbey 161 

Old Records of Masonry in the Reign of Ed- 
ward HI 162 


Edict of Henry VI. against Masons 164 

The Bat Parliament 166 

Winchester’s Hostility to Masonry 166 

A Regular I/>dge at Canterbury in 1400 .... 171 Afli. 

l'he White and Red Rose 173 

better from John Locke 173 

The Old Bodleian Manuscript 174 

Abrac 181 


Reign of Henry VH 183 

A Lodge of Masons in 1502 184 

Sons of Masons Initiated at Eighteen Years of 

Age 185 

Henry Vlli. and his Parliament deny the 

Right Divine of the Pope 186 

Reign of Elizabeth 187 

Districting England — Provincial G. Masters . 190 
The Character of Queen Elizabeth 191 


Masonry in Scotland 194 

Origin of the Scots 195 

Macbeth’s Descendants 197 

Robert Bruce 199 

Masons Lived in Camps or Huts 200 

Kilwinning and York the Nurseries of Ma- 
sonry 200 

Oidered by the King that the Masons Pay 

the G. Master. 201 

William Sinclair, G. Master 202 

Mary Queen of Scots 202 



Union of Scotland and England . 204 

Reign of James I 204 

Inigo Jones 206 

Nicholas Stone 207 

The Massacre of Four Thousand Protestants 

in Ireland 208 

Charles I. and Cromwell 209 

Cromwell, Washington, and Bonaparte .... 209 

Restoration of Charles II U0 

The Kings call for a Masonic Assembly 210 

General Assembly of Masons, 1663 210 

Regulations of 1663 213 


Operative Masonry Abandoned 214 

Sir Christopher Wren 215 

Great Fire in London, 1666 216 

Roofing for Houses in the Seventeenth Cen- 

I tury 218 

I Rebuilding St. Paul’s Church 219 

i Sir Christopher Wren’s Deputy 223 

Walbrook Church 223 

Death of Charles H 224 

Reign of William and Mary 225 

Masonry Neglected ... 226 


Masons Should Again Take Charge of Archi- 
tecture 227 

Grand Master Wren’s Letter of Instructions 

to Builders 229 

G. Master Wien’s great Age compels him to 

Neglect Masonry 234 

The Churches of St. Paul and St. Peter 234 

Apprentices Members of G. Lodge 236 

Re-organization of Masonry in the South of 

England 236 

Grand Ma'ter Payne’s Administration 289 

Occasional Lodge for the Duke of Lorraine . . 249 
The Old Gothic Constitutions ordered to be 

Revised by Dr. Anderson, 1721 241 

Committee of Fourteen 241 

Masonry Popular in England 248 


Masonry at York 260 

Masonry Neglected In London 250 

Grand Lodge of England sends a Charter to 

York 261 

Committee of Charity 253 

Stewards Admitted to Seats in G. Lodge . . . 265 

Novelties in Grand Lodge 266 

Frederick, Prince of Wales, Initiated 256 

Attempt to remove a Landmark 257 

Second Edition of the Book of Constitutions . . 257 
1 Clandestine Makings 250 



Only Members of Lodges Er tilled to Charity. 259 
Rupture between G. Lodge of England and 

that of York 260 

Seceders and Ahiman Rezon 260 

The First Form for a Procession 262 

Action Against the Ancient Masons 265 


Reign of George III 268 

Initiation of the Duke3 of Gloucester and 

Cumberland 269 

Taxing Grand Officers to Build a Hall 279 

Past G. Officers May Wear Gold Jewels ‘170 

Difficulty between G. Lodge and the Lodge of 
Antiquity 274 


History of Lodge of Antiquity — Continued. . . 276 

Initiation of Omdit-ul Omrah Bauhader 279 

Grand Officers with Robes 280 

Regulations against Non-affiliated Masons... 281 

New Regulations Adopted 281 

Fines for Non-attendance 282 


Foundation Laid for the Female Orphan 

School 284 

Rules for the School 287 

Address of the G. Lodge to the King 290 

Address of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts 

to Brother George Washington 293 

Washington’s Reply 294 

Washington as a Mason 294 

Death of Washington — Funeral 295 


The Jesuits and Masonry 298 

Expulsion of the Jesuits from all Countries 

except the United States 299 

Expose of the Articles of Union of the Jesuits 300 

Weishaupt’s Society 301 

Baruel and Robinson’s Opposition to Masonry 302 

Revolution in France 305 

Inhuman Treatment of American Prisoners . 307 

Robinson’s Proofs of Conspiracy 308 

Extract from Dewitt Clinton’s Address 315 

Expulsion of the Jesuits in 1847 318 

Masonry Meddles not with Politics or Re- 
ligion 319 


Masonry in France 320 

New Degrees 324 

Masonry in the East Indies 325 

Organization of the G. Lodge of Ireland 325 

The Order of Knights Templai instituted... 335 
Warrants sent into Russia and Spain 326 


Anti-Masonry in Holland and France 827 

Bull of Pope Eugenius against Masonry. . . . 824 
Imprisonment of Masons by the Inquisition. 828 

Masonry in Switzerland 888 

The Council of Berne against Masonry 838 

Synod of Scotland against Masonry 381 


Masonry in Ireland 882 

Address of the Grand Lodge of Ireland to the 

Duke of Sussex 339 

The Duke’s Reply Sso 

Celebration in Dublin in 1838 341 

France, Germany, and America made the 
Innovations 844 


Masonry in Scotland 344 

Monument to Bro. Robert Burns 849 

The Throne of a Grand Lodge 362 

Monument to the Memory of Sir Walter Scott £56 

Laying a Corner-Stone in Scotland 857 


Masonry in England 361 

Charges against Brethren for Visiting Ancient 

Lodges 861 

Portraits of Grand Masters 862 

Resolutions of Grand Lodge 868 

Revoking Innovations 364 

Great Dinner, January, 1813 365 


The Dukes of Sussex and Kent Grand Masters 

of the two Grand Lodges 378 

Union of the two Grand Lodges 878 

Articles of Union 374 

Consequences of the Union ... 882 

What is Spurious Freemasonry 384 

A Clandestine Mason Contending at Iaw for 

a Fee for Making a Mason 386 

Insubordination of Masons at Liverpool 386 

Prince of Wales Lodge *. 3P8 

Influence of Masonry on a Pirate 389 

Beautiful Ceremony of Laying a Corner-StoDe 390 

Initiation of King William TV. — The Offices 

He Filled 893 

An Asylum for Decayed Freemasons S93 

Address to the Duke of Sussex 396 

Masonry in the Nineteenth Century 401 

The Duke of Wellington’s Initiation 408 

Badges of Mourning 410 

Belgian Proscription of Masonry 410 

Anti-Masons Differ in Different Countries. .. *13 

Lodges in the Army Opposed 417 

Hindoo Opinions of Masonry *3*1 





Masonry in the United States 423 

Was Masonrv Among the Indians Before the 

Times of Columbus 427 

The Greek Language among the Indians .... 427 

Indian Medicine Lodge 431 

No Evidence of Masonry among the Indians. 434 
Welsh Language among the Indians 435 


Was Freemasonry Known to the Aborigines 

of the South ? .... 441 

Ihe Ancient Mysteries of Mexico 442 

The Great Temple of Mexico 444 

initiation Ceremony. 445 


flia Eai v Settlers in the United States 453 

Discovery of this Country by Icelanders in 

1003 453 

Voyage of Columbus 454 

Voyage of John Cabot 455 

Voyage of Sebastian Cabot 456 

Voyage from France 458 

Ponce de Leon’s Voyage 457 

De Soto’s Voyage 458 

Indians Carried into Slavery 458 

French Colony 462 

Colony of Huguenots 463 

Malendez, the Spanish Assassin 464 

Sir Walter Raleigh’s Colony 466 

Manteo, an Indian Chief 467 

What Became of Raleigh’s Colony 469 

Settlement at Jamestown 470 

Pocahontas and Smith 472 

The First Warrant sent to America 477 


Masonry in Massachusetts 

St. John’s Provincial Grand Lodge Estab- 

lished 482 

St. Andrew’s Grand Lodge Established 484 

Joseph Warren appointed Provincial Grand 

Master 486 

Both Grand Lodges Suspended in 1775 487 

Battle of Bunker Hill 487 

Re-organization of St. Andrew’s G. Lodge . . . 487 

St. John’s Grand Lodge Resumes Labor 488 

Union of the Two Grand Lodges 489 


History of Masonry in New York 498 

St. John’s Lodge, No. 1 500 

A Thrilling Story of an Escaped Prisoner. . . . 501 
The Athol Warrant 'bra Grand Lodge in New 

York 503 

Establishment of the Present Grand Lodge. . 505 
Origin of Difficulties in New York . . 508 

The Compact of 1827 fig 

Rupture and New Grand Lodge Ilf 


Rupture of 1849 

Union of St. John’s Grand Lodge with the 

Grand Lodge of New York 580 

Lodges Established by a Council of Thirty- 

third Degree 553 

Union of 1858 654 

Masonry in Pennsylvania 656 

Smith’s Aliiman R&tcn 559 

General Grand Lodge Recommended 660 

Establishment of an Independent Grand 
Lodge 660 


Masonry in Georgia 500 

There never was any Athol Masonry in Mas- 
sachusetts 660 

Masonry in South Carolina 671 

Masonry in North Carolina 576 

Masonry in Virginia 678 

Grand and Deputy Grand Masters of Virginia 686 

1 Grand Lodge of New Jersey 587 

Grand Lodge of Maryland 587 

Masonry in Connecticut 688 

Hiram Lodge, No. 1 689 

Grand Lodge of Rhode Island 697 

Grand Lodge of Vermont 691 

History of Masonry in Kentucky 697 

Masonry in Delaware 603 

Masonry in Ohio 604 

Masonry in the District of Columbia 609 

Masonry in Tennessee 610 

Masonry in Mississippi 610 

Masonry in Louisiana 611 

Old Records of G. Lodge of Louisiana 612 

Masonry in Missouri 622 

Masonry in Alabama 629 

Masonry in Illinois 638 

Masony in Florida 638 

Organization of the G. L. and G . Chap, of Fla. 640 

Masonry in Iowa 642 

Masonry in Texas 645 

Grand Lodge formed 649 

Grand Chapter 663 

Masonry in California 66 

Masonry in Kansas 661 

Masonry in Nebraska 662 

Masonry in Oregon 664 

Masonry in Minnesota 664 


Royal Arch Masonry 666 

Doctor Folger’s Letter 681 

Council of Royal and Select Masters 706 

History of the Council Degrees in Alabama.. Tlf 


1 uee masonry was strictly a secret Society for more than two 
thousand years ; its members were forbidden to publish any 
tiling, either in relation to its origin or teaching; and yet, 
throughout all that period, its history was transmitted from 
generation to generation, unspotted by time, and unadulterated 
by the sacrilegious hand of the innovator. Nor is this difficult to 
be accounted for, when it is remembered that the legends — the 
traditions of the Order, have ever constituted a portion of the 
teaching, intimately connected with, and inseparable from, the 
ritual of the Lodge room. And these instructions have not only 
been communicated to all initiates, but they have been required 
so to impress them on their minds as to be able to teach in turn. 
Thus, while the middle or dark ages enveloped in oblivion the 
very footprints of the world’s history, leaving us but the merest 
fables of Heathen Mythology to tell of Time’s onward course, our 
Order, having been transmitted from society to society, from 
man to man, in the same unmistakable and unalterable sym 
holism, preserved its identity, and perpetuated its existence 
in the upward and onward mission it was instituted and sent 
forth to accomplish. We believe it is susceptible of the clearest 
proof that to the universal language of Masonry, and its unerring 
method of transmission, is the world indebted for a knowledge 
of tlie most remarkable events of seven hundred years of the 
world’s history ; and, to well informed Masons, it satisfactorily 
appears that, by divine permission, it was made the instrument, 
not only for the preservation, but the discovery of the five books 
of Moses, after a lapse of four hundred and seventy years of 
lawless disorder. And, if there were no other interesting 
features in the general aspect of Masonry, these, it would seem, 
are abundantly sufficient to rivet the attention ajid excite the 




careful investigation of every inquiring mind, in relation to its 
true history and principles. But before we attempt to fix the 
point of time at which our Society was instituted, it becomes our 
unpleasant task to clear away the rubbish which has been thrown 
over it by unskillful and unfaithful workmen. 

The distinguished Preston says : “ From the commencement 
of the world we may trace the foundation of Masonry ; ever 
since symmetry began and harmony displayed her charms, our 
Order has had a being.’’ 

If the author had stopped with the first part of the paragraph 
here quoted, we could readily have reconciled it with the facts, 
as we believe they exist, that the foundation was then laid. 
That some one or more of the great principles taught by Free- 
masonrv were known from the foundation of the world, no well 
informed Mason is likely to question : but the existence of that 
principle, or even a knowledge of all the principles at that 
period, which are inculcated now by the Craft, does not prove 
that the system or art of teaching those principles was then 
known or practiced ; and hence the objectionable part of the 
paragraph is that which declares “ the existence of our Order 
ever since harmony displayed her charms.” Now, this is a decla- 
ration that Masonry, as a Society, has existed ever since the 
creation of the world, for we must regard it as something more 
than the knowledge of certain principles, separate and distinct, 
or in chaotic confusion. Masonry is an Order, a Society of 
.ndividuals, having a systematic art of teaching certain princi- 
ples, and linking its recipients together by certain indissoluble 
ties which enable them to distinguish each other, and place 
tnem under obligations to befriend and relieve each other from 
the withering blight of misfortune ; and it is as impossible to con- 
ceive of the existence of the Order without a community of 
individuals to constitute that Order, as to suppose the existence 
of a government without subjects to be governed. We desire 
the reader to satisfy himself in relation to the correctness of 
this position, for upon it depends the fitness of much about to 
be said ; and we desire to use no terms which do not convey 
our meaning, nor assume grounds which are not sustained by 
facts. Preston, we believe, was a good man, and a devoted 



Mason ; lovcrl its principles and practiced them ; but it is 
matter of extreme regret that lie has done little more than to 
copy Anderson, and enlarge upon his wild theory. Had he 
traced Masonry to that period to which the written records 
point, or where Masonic tradition places it, his labors would 
have been rewarded by the plaudits of those who are seeking 
after true Masonic light. But his work would, in this particular, 
have possessed none of those charms of miraculous mystery after 
which the world is running with almost frantic rage. That 
this declaration is true, we have only to refer to the light 
literature of France, the very trash of which is read with more 
avidity and eager delight at the present day, than the ablest 
productions in the investigation of the means which conduce 
to man’s true and lasting happiness ; nor is this the only 
example of man’s love of the wonderful. Science is being per- 
verted and thrown into ridicule to suit the vitiated taste of the 
age. A gentleman, whose character for ability and learning in 
the literary world places him high as an instructor, may propose 
to deliver a lecture in any of the departments of science, and 
he can not, in any town in the United States, obtain half the 
number of hearers as can be had by the most illiterate 
vagabond who professes to close his eyes by an impenetrable 
hoodwink, and look with the eye of the mind through his own skull 
and distinctly see any object ylaced before him. Alas ! how true 
it is, that while posterity will accord to this generation a rapid 
march in the onward course of improvements, they will also 
set us down as a race of men taking pleasure in being deceived ; 
a people who are best pleased when most deceived, and the 
tnore ridiculous the manner used, the more fascinating the 
deception ; and thus it is with Masonry, we delight to call our 
Institution “ ancient and honorable;” ancient as having existed 
from time immemorial ; and to confirm the belief of this oft 
repeated sentence, the historian is encouraged to date its origin 
back tc a period anterior to that which affords any proofs for 
or against it ; which leaves the writer at liberty to manufacture 
a tale of its origin and rise, as senseless and miraculous as the 
taste of the age demands. 

In order that wo may the better exhibit the ground we 



occupy, it will be necessary to inquire into the early history of 
man; this we shall do only so far as is absolutely necessary to 
the elucidation of the subject before us. If we were in posses- 
sion of a clear and well defined history of the world, from its 
creation to the present day, we might arrive at correct conclu- 
sions with much less difficulty ; but, unfortunately, the first 
eighteen hundred years are almost buried in impenetrable 
oblivion ; for down to the time of the Flood, we know very little 
more than the genealogy of the Patriarchs, together with their 
vices and ultimate destruction by the Deluge. If we take civil 
history, we find its first dawn is to be traced only as far back 
as the foundation of the ancient kingdom of Babylon, or the 
Assyrian Empire ; and even there its light is shrouded by many 
mists, penetrated by dubious rays. This period is about a 
century and a half after the Flood. Nimrod, the founder of 
Babel, was the great grandson of Noah, and even of his reign 
and government we know nothing, save from the writings of 
Moses, which are confined to a few particulars. That Ham and 
his sons rebelled against the authority of Noah seems probable, 
if we rely on the opinion of most chronologers ; whereupon, 
Noah and his followers crossed into Persia, or India and China, 
and as Shem, whom he considered in the line of the Messiah, 
was doubtless a favorite with his sire, it follows as probable 
that they settled in the same country. That, while Elam, the 
eldest son of Shem, settled in Persia, Noah went still further 
East ; and, though we are not well informed of the history of the 
Chinese Empire, its antiquity, the language of the people, their 
•numerous traditions of the flood, render it probable that Noah 
was the first to give it being as a nation ; it was certainly 
founded by the wisest men. To which may be added the some- 
wdiat singular fact, that Moses is silent in relation to Noah’ 
history after the Flood ; which is accounted for by writers or 
the ground that Noah had left Western Asia before the time to 
which Moses alludes, and his history is mainly confined to that 

If Masonry existed and was operative in those days, then might 
we expect to find it in a higher state of perfection than at any 
subsequent period ; for of all the cities, ancient or modern, of 



which we have an account, none, perhaps, will be found to sur 
oass ancient Babylon, either in extent or grandeur. It was 
built on a fertile plain, watered by the river Euphrates, which 
ran through it, and was encompassed by a wall three hundred 
and sixty feet high, eighty-seven feet thick, and inclosed a 
square of ground, each side of which was fifteen miles in length, 
so that a circuit of sixty miles was made in passing around the 
wall. There were fifty great streets, one hundred and fifty 
feet wide, crossing at right angles, and terminating in four 
other streets of two hundred feet in width at each side of the wall. 
The entire space within was improved with splendid edifices and 
beautiful gardens ; the buildings were three and four stories 
high, and of superior workmanship ; there was also, around, a 
square building of four hundred feet on each side, carried up 
to the hight of the wall, and a platform of immense stone laid 
thereon, upon which earth was placed, which not only served 
to produce splendid hanging gardens, but supported large trees ; 
these gardens were watered by an engine from the river. 
These people also erected the Tower of Babel, the hight of 
which is variously estimated. We are inclined to fix it at 
something over six hundred feet ; its base was forty rods 
square. Whether this was built by Nimrod, Ninus, or Semir- 
amis, is not clearly shown. Ninus was much occupied in 
building and beautifying the city of Nineveh. Semiramis has 
also the reputation of giving to the world a reign of more 
splendor for her great works in architecture, as well as achieve- 
ments in arms, than any other sovereign for many generations ; 
but it is difficult to form any well grounded opinion of those 
who succeeded her ; for although we are told she abdicated the 
throne in favor of her son Ninyas, it is not stated in what year 
of the world, nor do we know any more of the history of the 
Assyrian Empire for more than one thousand years. Tradition 
has scarcely given us the names of the monarchs * it is probable, 
however, that a knowledge of the arts and sciences was lost, 
and that the people became corrupt, dissolute, and idle ; that 
the monarchy was totally destroyed. One thing is certain, 
we can not rely upon any of the details of civil history until 
the reign of Nabonassar, which was about seven hundred and 



fifty years B.C. Nabonassar was cotemporary with Jotliam, 
King of Judah, and his reign was within five or six years of 
the founding of Rome : to this period only, can we trace civil 
history with any certainty. About six hundred years B.C. . 
Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, invaded the Assyrian Em- 
pire, and destroyed the city of Nineveh ; two years after, he 
laid siege to Jerusalem, and after two years of untiring efforts 
he took and destroyed it, burnt Solomon’s Temple, and carried 
the Jews captive to Babylon. This brings us down to a period 
after the introduction of Masonry, as we believe ; and although 
the sketch is imperfect, it is sufficient to enable the reader 
fairly and clearly to estimate our own views, as also those from 
whose writings we shall make extracts. We say the reader 
must be prepared to judge with what accuracy the history of 
Masonry could be traced back to the antideluvian world, even if it 
then existed, by any thing which we find in profane history, when 
we remember that the link is more than once broken, and for a 
period of time which renders it impossible ever to be united 
by any power of the human mind. This being true, we are 
left only two other sources of information : — 1. The Bible ; % 

Tradition ; and we give full credit to each ; but we are not to 
be understood as saying — If such a revelation can be found in a 
Mormon Bible, we are prepared to admit its truth ; nor are we 
willing to admit the bare declaration of any man that a tradition 
exists establishing the fact that Adam was a Mason. But if the 
Holy Bible, or that only true and holy tradition which has been 
regularly transmitted, from age to age, through the degrees of 
Ancient Craft Masonry, places the Society in the antideluvian 
world, we will admit that we have learned Masonry in vain, 
and promise to commence de novo. 

If we could conscientiously believe that Freemasonry is Lux ; 
that Lux is the true religion ; that the true religion was 
revealed to Adam, then would we admit that Adam, Shem, 
Ham, Japheth, Enoch, and Noah were Masons — that Masonry 
dates its birth at the creation of the world — and we could 
bring to our aid the testimony of nearly all the able writers 
who have figured as Masonic historians for the last one hundred 
years. Yea, we could reap the advantage of the testimony of 



one of the most learned writers of the present day, were we to 
take the ground that Masonry was instituted by a man who 
rived in the East, before Adam was created. 

Should we assume that. Masonry is the uncontaminated 
worship of the only living and true God, we should be sustained 
by the same celebrated divine ; and it would follow that, 
inasmuch as God had direct communications with Adam, and 
Noah having been pronounced a just man. these, at least, were 
“ Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and as there is no 
evidence that Noah or his descendants departed from the true 
principles of religion, for at least one hundred years after the 
Flood, it would seem all were Masons until they rebelled against 
the authority of Noah, and assembled themselves together in 
the plains of Shinar, and attempted to build a tower, whose 
top should reach the starry heavens. 

If Masonry is Geometry, then were all the Antediluvians 
members of the Order ; for Adam and Eve, especially the latter, 
gave evidence of a knowledge of this science. But we will 
more methodically accomplish the object in view, by taking up 
the works of Dr. Oliver, an eminent divine of England, who 
lias written more on the subject of Masonry, in the form of 
books, we believe, than any other man. To say we are anxious 
lor the result of an effort, on our part, to point out some of the 
inconsistencies and false positions assumed by so. distinguished 
a historian, but poorly expresses our feelings ; for the high 
position he justly occupies would deter us from the attempt, did 
we not believe his works are likely to do much mischief. 

As a Mason, we should not, in any case, tolerate a misrepre' 
sentation, but especially are we under obligation to expose 
spurious theories, when they tend to excite the ridicule and 
contempt of those who are not Masons, thereby bringing 
reproach upon the Craft. The first extract we shall make, 
is that to which we have already alluded, namely : “ But 

Ancient Masonic traditions say, and I think justly, that our 
science existed before the creation of this world, and was dif- 
fused amidst the numerous systems with which the grand 
empyrean of universal space is furnished.” * To this singular 

* Oliver's Antiquities of Freemasonry , page 26. 



if not Quixotic declaration, we deem it scarcely necessary to say 
more than simply deny its truth. We here assert that there is 
no such tradition ; and in making this declaration, we feel 
called upon to state that we have taken all the degrees of 
Ancient Craft Masonry, together with the Christian and append- 
ant degrees ; in short, all the degrees recognized in the United 
States as Masonic. With the traditions of Ancient Craft 
Masonry we profess to be familiar, and we assert here that 
there is no such tradition ; but we do not regard the traditions 
of any degrees of so called Masonry, above or aside from those 
of Ancient Craft Masonry, as entitled to implicit confidence 
these we hold in such veneration, that we feel bound to speak 
plainly when an effort is made to misrepresent them. 

Had Dr. Oliver given it as his opinion that Masonry, in all 
its simple beauty, existed in millions of worlds, and from all 
eternity, we should not have complained ; for, although it 
might have produced the impression on our mind that it dis- 
played the recklessness of a fanatic, or hired advocate of a bad 
cause, still, as we could neither show that the position is incor- 
rect, nor satisfy any one else that he did not honestly entertain 
the opinion, we would be justified in remaining silent. But we 
regard Masonic tradition as the very highest order of testimony 
which can be found, to establish any event which happened 
anterior to that period to which clearly defined written history 
leads us, and, therefore, can not permit spurious traditions to be 
substituted to establish every chimera of the brain, emanating 
from those who may cater to the public taste. W e will not say 
that the principles of the science were not diffused throughout 
ihe empyrean of space from all eternity, for the simple reason 
that we do not know it to be untrue ; we only say, there is no 
such Masonic tradition. 

The Doctor says that “ Masonry is Lux — that Lux is the true 
religion.” Then it follows that none can be saved but Masons, 
for we do not suppose false religion will save any one. If he 
had said that true religion and true Masonry consist simply in 
the belief of the existence of one Supreme Being — the enlight- 
enment of the soul, showing a self-existent and eternal first 
cause, then all men are, and ever have been, Masons ; for every 



nation, kindred, and tongue, from the Anglo-Saxon down to the 
wild savage of our own forests, have a law written on their 
hearts, pointing to the Father of Spirits. But Dr. Oliver tells 
us what Masonry is, and, therefore, we know what he conceives 
true religion to be : 

‘‘ Speculative Masonry is nothing else but a system of ethics, 
founded on the belief of a God, the Creator, Preserver, and 
Redeemer ; which inculcates a strict obedience of the duties 
we owe to each other ; inspires in the soul a veneration for 
the author of its being, and incites to a pure worship of the 
Creator.” * 

That this is true to the letter, all well informed Masons will 
testify. Freemasonry is a system of ethics ; it cultivates and 
enforces the most sublime truths in relation to man’s present 
and eternal being, and it incites and encourages its votaries to 
look to God, and ask His blessings and instructions ; it points 
to the Bible as the great book of God’s revelations ; but it 
does no more. It seeks not to renovate the soul and make 
sacrifice for sin, by pointing to the Lamb of God, who taketh 
away the sins of the world. It points neither to circumcision 
nor baptism for the remission of sins. It is a system of morals 
only. It is not religion ; it is not in reality any part of relig- 
ion. It is, as the Doctor here declares it to be, a systen of 
ethics ; and yet, next to the Christian religion, it is the n jst 
perfect system ever known to man ; but does it follow that God 
gave to man, at his creation , a system by which an association 
of men were to be formed into a secret society, for the cultiva- 
tion and preservation of our sacred rites ? The fact that 
Masons, in all ages, since the introduction of our Order, have 
taught one or more of the principles of the true worship and 
knowledge of God, is no more evidence of its coexistence with 
the creation, than is the fact that every religious society in 
Christendom, teaching, at this day, one or more of the same 
principles, proves their respective existence, as such, in the 
garden of Eden, or even in the days of our Saviour’s sojourn 
on earth. 

Oliver’s Antiquities, p. 28. 



We fraternally ask the reader to remember the extract above, 
made with a view to compare it with others which we shall 
make in the course of this investigation ; for, notwithstanding 
fue Doctor takes the ground that Masonry is the true religion, 
it seems that the next, to which attention is here called, 
tends to prove that Masonry is no part of religion : 

“ Placed in the Garden of Eden, Adam was made acquainted 
yith the nature of his tenure, and taught, with the worship of 
his Maker, that science which is now termed Masonry. This 
constituted his chief happiness in Paradise, and was his only 
consolation after his unhappy fall.”* 

Now, if this science was communicated to Adam with a know- 
ledge of the true worship, then it could not have been more 
than an appendage to, and not even a constituent part of, the 
true worship ; but as this constituted Adam’s chief happiness in 
Paradise, then are we left to infer that God revealed to Adam 
the plan of salvation for fallen men, viz., repentance and faith 
in Jesus Christ, before lie fell, because, the Doctor says, this 
transpired in the Garden of Eden ; but we must suppose that 
Adam did not repent until after his disobedience, for this would 
be to suppose an impossibility ; on the contrary, if we take the 
ground that Adam was a Mason before his fall, then must we 
believe that Masonry is something more than religion, as w p 
understand it ; for we suppose the true religion embraces an 
acknowledgment of guilt on the part of the creature, and an 
outpouring of sorrow for sin to the Creator ; but man’s prime- 
val purity in Paradise, before the worm of corruption polluted 
Ins soul, needed no repentance, as without sin there could be no 
sorrow, or pain, or guilt. In short, Adam was created holy, 
upright, and pure, and needed not a knowledge of the true 
religion to add to his felicity. Again, if it constituted his 
chief happiness before his fall — when he could not have felt the 
want of a plan of salvation — and was his only consolation after 
his fall, it could not have been mere religion. 

The Doctor is not content with showing that Adam was a 
Mason, but evidently endeavors to produce the impression that 
fiis partner was also a Mason : 

Antiquities , p. 41. 



“ deduced oy these speeious declarations, the mother of ail 
Masons violated the sacred injunctions of God, and, through 
her entreaties, Adam followed the pernicious example, and both 
miserably fell from a state of innocence and purity, to experi- 
ence all the bitter fruits of sin, toil and labor, misery and 
death.” * 

If the author had said that Eve was the mother of all men 
then would we have understood him as not differing from other 
historians ; but to assert that Eve was the mother of all Mor- 
mons, or all Odd Fellows, or all Masons, presupposes her 
acquaintance with, and practice of, all the peculiarities of the 
particular sect of which she was the mother. Abraham was 
the father of the faithful, because he practiced that faith so per 
fectly, that God was pleased to declare that through him 
should all the nations of the earth be blessed ; and if Eve was 
the mother of all Masons, a question of somewhat serious import 
might arise. There is an opinion among the vulgar that 
Masons have dealings with the devil, and it is sustained by 
quite as well authenticated a tradition as some of those men- 
tioned by the Doctor. Now, if Eve was a Mason before she 
partook of the forbidden fruit, may it not be said that the devil 
communicated to her the secrets of Masonry, in order that she 
should fall, and thereby become the mother of all Masons ? 
This opinion is quite as tenable as that Masonry is the true 
worship ; that the true worship was understood and practiced 
by her, and yet failed to arrest her disobedience, and thereby 
sa\e the world from sin and death. 

The Doctor says that when Cain slew his brother, he fell from 
the true principles of Masonry ; that the earth was cursed ; 
that a mark was placed upon the fratricide, and evil pronounced 
against his posterity : 

“His race forsook every good and laudable pursuit, along 
with Masonry, and degenerated into every species of impurity 
and wickedness.” t 

Yet to these people he traces the origin of operative Masonry 
— another evidence that Masonry was the work of the wicked 

* Antiquities , p. 47. 

f Ibid p. 45. 



one. Jabal invented the use of tents ; Jubal, Ms brother, 
invented music ; and Tubal- Cain, his half-brother, invented the 
art of forging metals : who, together with their great grand 
sire and his descendants, erected the first city, which they named 
Hanoch, after Cain’s eldest son. Now, that the descendants 
of Cain were the inventors of the arts above named is asserted 
by Moses ; but, when we remember that they were under the 
curse of God, were wicked and rebellious, how are we justified 
in attributing to them the practice of Masonry, if it is the true 
religion, and especially when the Doctor tells us that they bad 
lost all their Masonry ? But, anon, the Doctor turns with holy 
horror from this wicked and rebellious people to the family of 
Seth, the son of Adam : 

“ Who was educated by his father in the strictest principles 
of piety and devotion, and, when he arrived at years of matu- 
rity, was admitted to a participation in the mysteries of 
Masonry, to which study he applied himself with the most 
diligent assiduity. The progress he made in this study is fully 
demonstrated by the purity of his life. Associating with him 
self the most virtuous men of his age, they formed Lodges, and 
discussed the first principles of Masonry with freedom, fervency, 
and zeal.” * 

Deader, strange as it may seem, the above extract comes 
from the pen of one of the most learned divines of the age — one 
to whom it would seem we had a right to look for light and 
instruction ; to whose moral guidance the novitiate, at least 
might safely confide the direction of his footsteps in the path- 
way of moral purity and true piety, which alone lead to 
unfading glory. Were it an extract from that quarter where 
the marvelous is known to predominate, where the pens of the 
ablest writers are prostituted to the corrupted morals of an 
infidel people, and true piety is driven into exile, we might hope 
its effect would be as evanescent and harmless as the dreams of 
infidelity ; but the works of Dr. Oliver are intended for preser 
vation, to be placed in the archives of the Lodges, and handed 
down as a rich legacy to future ages, and we are responsible to 

* Antiquities , p. 48. 



posterity, should the humblest among us permit the coinage of 
fiction, the mere invention of a tale, though emanating from the 
highest source, and that, too, in the enlightened nineteenth 
century, to go down to future ages as the first and only true 
history of Masonic events happening more than five thousand 
years ago, and not raise our warning voice. We will not deny 
the fascination which this new theory throws around the study 
of Masonry. With what pride would we reecho the glad 
tidings to the zealous and devoted Mason, that the long sleep 
of oblivion which has shrouded our history has passed away ; 
that the mist of ages has been dispersed by the brilliant rays 
of Lux ; that the vail has been rent by this celebrated divine, 
and we permitted to behold the standard of our Order, planted 
by Seth, the son of Adam, who, together with his brethren, 
actually “ met in Lodges, and discussed Masonry with freedom, 
fervency, and zeal.” We repeat, this would be news worthy to 
be chronicled abroad, were it only sustained by well authenti- 
cated history, either written or traditional ; but, alas, so far 
from this being the case, we are constrained to regard even the 
theory of our author as leading the mind to disbelieve his own 
declaration ; for if Masonry is the true religion and worship 
of God, and if Seth was educated by his father in the strictest 
principles of piety and devotion, what are we to understand the 
Doctor as teaching, when he uses the following language : 
“ When Seth was arrived at the age of maturity, he was 
admitted into the mysteries of Masonry ? ” Could Adam have 
taught Seth, anterior to his maturity, the principles of true 
piety and devotion to God, without a knowledge of the true 
religion ? Could he have been taught the principles of religion, 
without a knowledge of Masonry ? In short, if the true 
religion and Masonry are one and the same thing, was not 
Seth, by the Doctor’s own showing, taught the secrets of 
Masonry before he arrived to years of maturity ? But, above 
all, we might ask — What proof is there that Seth was a Mason ? 
Give us the proof, and then, and not till then, are we prepared 
to believe that Seth and his brethren actually met in Lodges, 
and discussed the great principles of Masonry with freedom, 
fervency, and zeal. 


“ The seven liberal sciences, originally invented by Masons, 
were transmitted almost solely through their indefatigable zeal 
before the invention of printing. 7 ’* 

Here we are in the same lamentable dilemma as before. How 
much we regret that some known facts are not produced ii: 
support of this declaration. If a sufficient reason could be 
found to satisfy the inquirer after truth that Masonry existed 
in any form at this period, and that then, as now, it recom- 
mended the study of the sciences, the declaration of the author 
might be received as probable ; but, can we flatter ourselves 
that well informed men wi 11 be prepared to admit, that because 
Masonry has been known for several past centuries to teach 
the arts and sciences, together with all the moral and social 
virtues, and points to the necessity of a knowledge of the one 
only living and true God, and a strict obedience to the divine 
law that therefore Masonry was instituted in the Garden of Eden, 
or a\ any time during the antediluvian age ? If history, sacred 
or profane, recorded the fact, or if the traditions of Ancient 
Craft Masonry could be brought to its support, then would w r e 
glad ly £ive our adhesion ; but it can not be thus traced. We 
will ir.n deny that there are degrees called Masonic, and a great 
number if them, from which we may glean a tradition, leading 
back to die remotest period, and pretending to elucidate almost 
all the religions ever known or professed in -the world ; but 
where is die well informed Mason wdio does not spurn them as 
the production of modern times — the invention of men whos( 
Masonic p< addling propensities make them a scoff and a by-word 
to the good and true everywhere? We boldly assert, and hold 
ourselves prepared to vindicate its truth, that there is no 
Masonic tradition emanating from Ancient Craft Masonry — 
and we acknowledge no other as being true Masonry — proving 
the existence of such an order of men anterior to the building 
of the Temple at Jerusalem ; and even to that period, w r e shall 
have some difficulty to trace it, to the satisfaction of those who 
are not Masons, for the reason, that the most reliable traditions 
arc hid from the world by the established usages of the 

* Olivers Antiquities , p. 54. 



Institution, still we do believe that the candid reader, who will 
summon the moral courage to wade through our somewhat 
tedious investigation, will be constrained to admit that our 
conclusions are drawn from a reasonable supposition of their 

Dr. Oliver seems to be aware that there might be some who 
would not be willing to regard his simple declaration as sufficient 
proof that Masons invented the sciences, and, therefore, uses the 
following most singular argument : 

“To trace these sciences back to their original, may be 
counted an adventurous task ; but if, amidst the doubtful 
evidence which remains of these times, we find strong presump 
tive proof that they were in the exclusive possession of Masons 
in the most early ages of the world, it will show that Masonry 
is not a negative Institution, but that it is of some actual benefit 
to mankind.’ 7 * 

Now, his conclusions would be, in the main, correct, if his 
premises were not false. He might find presumptive proof, 
perhaps, that the sciences were in the exclusive possession of 
Masons at the time to which he alludes, provided he could find 
presumptive proof that Masonry then existed ; but the total 
absence of any proof, save the naked declaration of modern 
writers, leaves the author’s deductions worthless. The 
science of numbers is said to have its origin with God, because 
Hecomputed time at the creation. Enoch invented an alphabet, 
to perpetuate sounds, which is called the first rudiments of 
grammar. Some are of opinion that Enoch communicated this 
knowledge to Methuselah ; by the latter it was given to Noah, 
and by Noah to his sons, and thence to the world, after the 
Flood. The descendants of Sliem have the honor of so improv- 
ing on the original, as to produce the Hebrew tongue, while 
Ham and his sons conveyed the same alphabet to Egypt, whose 
priests, some hundred years after, dispensed with its use by intro- 
ducing hierogiyphical characters, in order that their superior 
attainments might be kept secret from the masses. That 
astronomy and geometry were cultivated by the Antediluvianc 

* Oliver’s Antiquities , p. 81. 



is equally true. Josephus says that God found it necessary 
to give man long life, so that he might cultivate virtue and a 
knowledge of the sciences. That, as all heavenly bodies re- 
turned to their original places every six hundred years, a life 
of at least six centuries was required to obtain a knowledge of 
their relative motion, etc. The Pythagorean Society taught 
the sciences ; but it does not follow, a priori , that the Pythago- 
rean Society existed in the days of Adam, when it is known 
that the founder of that Society was born more than two 
thousand years after Adam’s death? We think not; and yet 
there is quite as much reason for this belief as that, because 
Masonry has been known to exist several centuries, and incul- 
cated a virtue or recommended the study of a science, a 
knowledge of which was possessed by Adam and his immediate 
descendants, therefore, Adam and his immediate descendants 
were Masons. 

The laws of Great Britain are founded upon, and inculcate 
many of the moral precepts of the laws of God ; which prin- 
ciples were known to the Antediluvians, and yet it will not be 
contended that the British Government existed in the days of 
Adam ; in like manner, Masonry teaches and enforces many of 
the injunctions giving to Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, 
Jacob, and Moses, but it does not follow that Masonry was 
practiced bv all these men. 

“ Enoch practiced Masonry, of which he was now elected 
Grand Master, with such effect, that God vouchsafed, by imme 
Giate revelation, to communicate to him some peculiar mysteries 
in token of His approbation.” 

Here again the Doctor fails to produce any proof that Masonry 
existed in the days of Enoch, nor does he say by whom, or for 
what purpose, Enoch was elected Grand Master. Had the 
Antediluvans a Grand Lodge ? Where did it hold its Grand 
communications, and who were its other officers ? But, if the 
Doctor was at our elbow, he would doubtless readily answer all 
those questions, for it is not more difficult to have all the stations 
and places occupied, in this case, than it would seem to be in the 
days of Moses, and there he points out the very individuals 
who w ere in all the principal offices, even that of Deputy Grand 



Master, an officer not heard of, we think, before the eighteenth 
century, and certainly not before nine hundred and twenty-six. 
To make the Doctor consistent, we must ask to draw some 
deductions which naturally follow. Masonry is Lux — Lux is 
the true religion. God pronounced Enoch a just man, therefore, 
Enoch was a Mason, hence all good men having the knowledge 
and fear of God before their eyes, and living in obedience to* 
His known commands, are also Masons, and either the Society 
of Christians or Masons is wholly unnecessary at this day ; 
and we contend that there are especial reasons for the total 
abolition of Masonry, for we must not be so illiberal as to 
claim that we, as Masons, are in the possession of the only trrn 
mystic light of God’s unsearchable riches and goodness, whicl 
can lead the world to worship at the footstool of His sovereign 
mercy, where alone the signet of truth is to be found, by the ust 
of which we may enter the Grand Lodge of saints and angels 
and be crowned with the royal crown of never fading glory, 
and yet withhold a knowledge of these ineffable gifts and graces 
from one-half of the world. Surely our mothers, wives, and 
sisters should be permitted to enter within the vail of our holy 
sanctuary, and become partakers with us in our righteousness 
and redemption from sin. 

The following extract will astonish the enlightened American 
Mason, who has occupied a certain station and become well 
acquainted with the means which qualify him for it, as it 
exhibits one of two things equally remarkable, either that the 
same history of the degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry is not 
given adike in England and the United States, or that the 
author is seeking to engraft Scotch Rite Masonry, so called, 
upon the ancient stock, as this pretended history is taken from 
the thirteenth degree of said rite. In speaking of Enoch, he 
says : 

“ Being inspired by his Maker, and in commemoration of a 
wonderful vision on the holy mountain, in which these sublime 
secrets were revealed to him, he built a temple in the bowels of 
the earth, the entrance of which was through nine several 
porches, each supported by a pair of pillars and curiously 
concealed from human observation. The perpendicular depth 



of this temple was eighty-one feet from the surface. Enoch 
Jared, and Methuselah were the three architects who constructed 
this subterranean edifice ; but the two latter were not acquainted 
with the sacred motives which influenced Enoch in causing this 
cavern to be dug. The arches were formed in the bowels of 
the mountain which was afterward denominated Calvary, iu 
the land of Canaan ■ and the temple was dedicated to the 
living God. He then made a plate of gold in the form of an 
equilateral triangle, each of whose sines was eighteen inches, 
which he enriched with precious stones, and incrusted it on a 
triangular agate of the same dimensions. On this plate he 
engraved the ineffable characters he had seen in his vision, and 
alone, in silence and solitude, he descended through the nine 
portals into the temple, and placed this invaluable treasure upon 
a cubical pedestal of white marble. When the temple was 
completed, Enoch made nine secret doors of stone, and placed 
them at the entrance of the portals, with an iron ring inserted in 
each, for the facility of raising, in case any wise and good man 
of future ages should be led to explore the secret recesses of this 
sepulchral vault. He then closed up the whole, that the secrets 
there deposited might remain in perfect security amid the 
anticipated destruction of mankind, for the contents of this 
temple were not intrusted to any human being. Enoch paid 
occasional visits to the temple, for the purpose of offering up 
his prayers and thanksgiving, in a peculiar manner, to God, who 
vouchsafed to him 'alone such distinguished favors . 77 * 

If the Doctor is correct in supposing that God communicated 
to Enoch, in his visions on the mountain, the secrets of Free- 
masonry, then we must believe that Adam was not a Mason. 
If the author had said, that God communicated new secrets in 
Masonry, then might we still grant that Adam was a Mason, 
made so by God, in the Garden of Eden, but he only received 
instructions in the lower degrees ; perhaps he was only an 
Entered Apprentice : true, we should find some difficulty in 
believing that God ever communicated as freely of holy things 
to any man after the fall, as he did to Adam while he was 

Oliver’s Antiquities , p. 83 



permitted to converse with God face to face ; but, be this as ii 
may, if Masonry is the true religion which God communicated 
to Enoch, is it reasonable to suppose that he would have buried 
the secret in the bowels of the earth, without even making those 
who assisted him in the erection of his work acquainted with 
the only means by which they could escape eternal banishment 
from the presence of God ? Would he have straightway buried 
the true religion from the eyes of men, until some good and wise 
men of future ages should discover and bring it to light ? We 
hope never to call in question the mandates of Jehovah, though 
our finite mind may not be able to comprehend the reason which 
dictated them, and if it were recorded in the Bible, that God 
communicated to Enoch the secrets of Freemasonry, and directed 
him to bury them in the bowels of the earth, we would be the 
last to call in question its truth, but the same high veneration 
for His holy law, impels us to protest against that doctrine 
which tends to pervert His known will, in order to establish, as 
true, that which, in reality, can be nothing more than mere con- 
jecture, founded on premises originating only in the imagination. 
But in addition to the fact that there is no tradition in Masonry, 
as we understand it, which points to Enoch as the builder of a 
secret vault, there is a little defect in the manner of finishing 
this noble temple, which seems to place this ingeniously invented 
story at the door of some writer not quite so learned as we 
biow Dr. Oliver to be ; had he devised the plan of the work, 
the rings which were placed in the several portals would have 
Deen made of gold or some other metal not liable to decompose, 
for as the design was evidently to conceal the secret for the uso 
of future generations, after the flood, the Doctor never would 
have used iron rings, with the expectation that they would con- 
tinue to exist as such, so long a time. The authorship of this 
invented tale is probably due to Debonville, Chevalier Ramsey’s 

Before we leave the subject, so often referred to, viz. : — that 
Masonry is true religion, we feel called upon to notice one 
other fact, which seems to be inconsistent with this theory. In 
all the works of Dr. Oliver, he attributes to Masonry the 
discovery of the arts and sciences, and the practice of piety , 



while the fact, is staring him in the face that the very people 
known to be destitute of the true religion discovered and 
brought to light nearly all the sciences ; for, in addition to what 
we have said in relation to the posterity of Cain, and much as 
we may boast of the influence of Masonry and the true Mor 
ship of God, we marvel that our philosophers so little excel a 
Socrates, a Plato, or an Aristotle ; we wonder that our mathe- 
maticians are so little superior to Euclid or Archimedes ; we 
think it strange that our better writers are but a step ahead 
of a Demosthenes and a Cicero, or that in history so few stand 
above Herodotus. We say it is wonderful that, after the lapse 
of ages, each claiming to be wiser than the past, when Chris- 
tianity and Masonry have, arm in arm, or, as the Doctor will 
have it, “ united in one,” been enlightening and improving 
mankind, developing the rich resources of the human mind, 
that even now we are so little superior to the heathen, for the 
above named men were all so. 

We wish to be distinctly understood as reviewing Dr. 
Oliver’s opinions of Masonry, with no vain hope of measuring 
arms, as a historian, with him. We frankly acknowledge his 
infinite superiority in learning and research, but the true and 
well authenticated history of Masonry is attainable by all who 
have entered within the vail ; and when we find errors and 
false doctrines inculcated, the higher the authority the more 
injurious the consequences which are likely to result ; and the 
more necessary is it that all who can wield a pen or talk upon 
tin subject, should boldly stand up to the work, respectfully, 
bu firmly contending for the doctrine once delivered to us by 
our fathers, and thus, in the might and majesty of truth, put to 
shame those who may so far forget their duty to the Craft and 
to posterity as to set up a theory having no foundation in fact 
More especially is it our duty to enter our solemn protest 
against such a theory, if it shall manifestly tend to bring ridi- 
cule and disgrace upon our beloved Institution. We frater- 
nally ask whether the course pursued by Dr. Oliver is not 
calculated to produce that effect? To illustrate some portions 
of his theory, we will relate a dialogue between Mr. Wilkins, 
an intelligent gentleman, entertaining a favorable opinion of 



Masonry, and really desirous of information ; and Bro. Jones, 
who has taken all the degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry : 

Mr. Wilkins. — Where do you date the origin of Masonry ? 

Brother Jones. — In the Garden of Eden. 

Wilkins. — May I not ask you for proof that Adam was a 
Mason, as I find no account of it in profane or sacred history? 
If any exists, it must be traditional, and from my knowledge 
of the antiquity of your Society, I am inclined to think favora- 
bly of any Masonic tradition coming in a regular and well 
authenticated manner. 

Jones. — Well, sir, we have no tradition to that effect, but 
Dr. Oliver, a celebrated divine, a learned historian, says, that 
Adam was a Mason, because Masonry, being the true religion, 
Adam evidently received it from God, who freely communi- 
cated with him in the Garden of Eden in reference to holy 

Wilkins. — Whether God communicated to Adam, before his 
fall, the plan of salvation denominated the true religion, is by 
qo means apparent from any thing we find in the Bible ; but, 
aside from this, have you any tradition that Masonry ever was 
regarded as the true religion ? 

Jones. — We have not ; but Dr. Oliver says, that inasmuch 
as Masonry, as now practiced, inculcates some of the principles 
of the true religion, and as God communicated freely with 
Adam, face to face, Adam must have been acquainted with, and 
in the practice of, the true religion, and therefore Adam was 
a Mason ; and, beyond all doubt, Enoch was a Mason, because 
God revealed a secret to him in a vision on the holy mountain. 

Wilkins. — My dear sir, if this be the best evidence of the 
antiquity and original principles of Masonry, you must excuse 
me for saying that I shall be compelled to regard the Insti 
tution as having claimed a standing and importance in society 
which it by no means merits, and the arguments of Dr. Oliver 
as too visionary to merit a serious answer. 

We appeal to the candor and good sense of the fraternity to 
say whether the conclusions of Mr. Wilkins are not such as 
everv intelligent man would arrive at. 

“The Patriarch Shem continued, until the time of his death, 



to practice those principles of the Masonic science which he 
had learned from Lamech, Methuselah, and Noah, before the 
Flood, He communicated to his immediate descendants the 
mysteries of Enoch’s pillar, and hence his sons, the Cabiri, 
became fraught with that knowledge, which rendered them so 
celebrated throughout the world.”* 

We are aware that several historians entertain the opinion 
that the Cabiri were the sons of Shem, and among the number 
is the learned Bishop of Cumberland ; but to show how 
uncertain this opinion is, it is only necessary to say that these 
authors are not agreed whether there were three or si x of 
them, whether they were Axieras, Axiakersa, and Axiakersos, 
corresponding with Ceres, Proserpine, and Pluto ; or whether 
Jove, Dionysius, and some others, not remembered, were of the 
number. Nor is it at all clear, that the Cabiri were in any way 
connected with Shem, or that they lived at the same time, much 
less is it settled that Shem or the Cabiri knew anything of 
Masonry. To us it is by no means satisfactory to say that 
because a secret society existed at that day, whether Dionysian, 
Elusinian, or Cabiric, that, therefore, Masonry was understood 
and practiced ; nor is it plain to us that, because the Cabiri, in 
conjunction with Thoth and a host of other heathen, had 
succeeded in substituting their mysteries for the truth, thereby 
leading the descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japlieth from the 
true worship, that, therefore, they were Masons ; nor yet 
because Abraham was called of Cod to restore the true 
worship, he was necessarily a Mason. We would, however, 
confess, that there is more reason for supposing that the Cabiric 
mysteries were Masonic, than that Abraham was a Mason, 
because both the Cabiric and Masonic, were secret Associations, 
while Abraham was called of Cod to do a work of faith and 
obedience to his Divine Master, which Cod intended should be 
an example to all men for, through him the children of the 
promise were to arise, and there is no reason to suppose that 
God made Abraham an example of perfect obedience through 
any secret confederates or associations with men. We are 

Oliver's Antiquities, p. 141. 



awaie that there is a tradition attached to one of the degrees 
of Masonry, as now given, that leads us to suppose, upon a 
superficial view, that Abraham was a Mason when lie returned 
from Egypt and settled in Mamrc ; that his nephew, Lot, was a 
Mason : aye, and the same tradition, so called, makes Melchize- 
deck, the priest of the Most High God, who had neither 
beginning of days nor end of years, a Mason ! But who 
does not regard the degree as of modern introduction, got 
up with a long line of antiquity attached to it, in order to 
make it acceptable to those who may be placed in a situation to 
receive it ? 

The traditions of Ancient Craft Masonry teach nothing 
which is inconsistent with reason, and which can not be recon- 
ciled with the known events of the age ; but the trumpery 
which has been appended, by the introduction of new ceremonies, 
within the last one hundred years, and the calling them Masonic 
degrees, enables the writer who desires to embellish, and amuse 
the curious, to indulge his propensity to the full, but the 
consequences must be great loss to the cause of truth, and a 
tendency to subject the Fraternity to ridicule and contempt. 

Moses was ordained of God to deliver the children of Israel 
from bondage, and long before he escaped into Midian, he 
received manifest tokens of God’s favor, by receiving instruc- 
tions in the true worship; and yet, Dr. Oliver says, that Moses 
had been instructed in the mysteries of spurious Masonry in 
Egypt. “ But when he fled to Jethro, he made him acquainted 
with the mysteries of true Masonry.” Now, the reader will 
bear in mind that Jethro was a priest of Midian, an open and 
acknowledged worshiper of idols, and therefore could not have 
been well informed in the true worship ; and if Masonry was 
the true religion we should certainly be inclined to suppose 
that Moses was better prepared to instruct Jethro, than Jethro 
him, for although there is some evidence that this idolator was 
favored of God, still, we are not at liberty to believe that ho 
was qualified to give holy instructions to one whom God had 
inspired and taught. When Moses had erected the twelve 
pillars, Dr. Oliver says : 

“ After solemn sacrifice, Moses disposed the people according 



to their tribes, and opened the first Lodge of which we have any 
certain tradition since the time of Joseph.” 

It is scarcely necessary to say to the well informed Mason, 
that there is no tradition of any sort, from the degree of 
Entered Apprentice to the Select Master — and no one contends 
that Ancient Craft Masonry embraces any degrees above — that 
either Joseph or Moses were Masons, and certainly there is not 
the shadow of testimony to be found that Moses was ever Grand 
Master, and yet listen to the learned divine : 

“ Here lie (Moses) held a solemn convocation to the Lord, and 
the people returned thanks for their miraculous deliverance, 
and entered into those indissoluble vows which implied 
unlimited and united obedience to the commandments of God. 
Over this Lodge presided Moses as Grand Master, Joshua as 
his Deputy, and Aholiab and Bezaleel as Grand Wardens.”* 

We feel called on to apologize to the reader for extracting 
so much from the writings of Dr. Oliver, tending as the 
above does to show his total want of knowledge of Masonic 
traditions, or his recklessness as a writer, but, as before inti 
mated, the author’s elevation of character gives him the power 
to do much good or harm, and, as many of our readers have not 
access to his works, we prefer the method here adopted of 
making full extracts, that it may be seen whether we do him 
iujustice or not. We continue to make a further exhibit of the 
Doctor’s views of the Masonic life of Moses, after he descended 
from the mountain, his face being covered with the glory af 
God. The Doctor says : 

“ As a means of securing the practice of Masonry, and with 
it true religion, among the children of Israel, until a prophet 
like himself should appear among them to expand its blessings 
and convey them to all the nations of the earth, Moses convened 
a general grand assembly of all the Lodges, whether speculative 
or operative Masonry, to consult about erecting a tabernacle 
for divine worship, as no place, since the creation of the world 
had been exclusively appropriated to religion and dedicated to 
the true God, which He had condescended to honor with His 

* Oliver’s Antiquities , p. 258. 



immediate presence. In obedience to the mandate of Moses, 
the Masters of all the newly formed Lodges, the principals of 
the Chapter, the Princes of the tribes, with other Masons, 
assembled to receive instructions of their Grand Master. T 
this Grand Lodge Moses gave wise charges.”* 

Now, reader, in all candor, what think you of this as coming 
from a learned and reverend gentleman, and brother Mason, 
who is engaged in writing for posterity ? Moses, Grand Master! 
Joshua, Deputy Grand Master! etc. An assembly of all the 
newly formed Lodges! And if it be possible to conceive of one 
thing as being more ridiculous than another in this extract, it 
is that the principals of the Chapter were present at this Grand 
Lodge ! 

If the author had intended in the use of the term Chapter to 
refer to an assembly of the clergy, as this term is sometimes 
used, he would not have connected it with Masonry, as he has 
done ; but all doubt is removed when he says “ the principals of 
the Chapter, the Princes of the tribes, and other Masons, assem- 
bled to receive instruction from their Grand Master ; ” so that 
he evidently means a Masonic Chapter. To this we have only 
to ask, whether Dr. Oliver, or any other Mason, will undertake 
to trace the existence of a Masonic Chapter to a period earliei 
than nine hundred and thirty-four vears before the coming of 
our Saviour ? Can one jot or tittle of testimony, written 01 
traditional, be found which will point to a period beyond the 
reign of Cyrus, King of Persia? We answer, positively, that 
there is not. Nay, is there any proof that a Royal Arch Chap 
ter was known before the days of Chevalier Ramsey ? 

We heard an Odd Fellow say that the Order of Odd Fellow- 
ship dated its origin to the Garden of Eden, declaring that 
Adam was an Odd Fellow ; and, certainly, there is more truth 
in this than in many of the positions assumed by Dr. Oliver, 
for, we suppose, Adam was odd before he had & fellow, while for 
many of the Doctor’s opinions there is not even such a pretext. 

But that we regard some things connected with our beloved 
institution too sacredly to write about them as the Doctor 

* Antiquities , p. 266 . 



has done, we could make extracts, and not a few, that would 
astound the reader, who has not seen his works, and which 
clearly show that he is culpably ignorant of true Masonic tradi- 
tions, as well as Masonic secrets; or, he is recreant to the cause 
he professes to espouse. We repeat, that if we have studied 
Masonry to any purpose, if we have received the degrees in due 
form , with the correct traditions belonging to the same, then 
lias Dr. Oliver written what we could not. He lias mis- 
placed and transposed the degrees, and last, though not least, 
has antedated the origin of the Institution, without any sort of 
testimony which is entitled to credit. While Preston, Hutchin- 
son, and others, have asserted that the principles of Masonry are 
coeval with the creation, no one, whose writings we have read, 
has been reckless enough to declare that Adam and all his 
prominent descendants, down to the Flood, were Masons. But 
it is reserved for Dr. Oliver unblushingly to publish to the world 
who were the distinguished officers of Grand Lodges, Chapters, 
and other Masonic Assemblies. If the author had said the same 
things in a different manner, if he had given it as merely his 
opinion , that Masonry was practiced in those days, and given a 
list of the Grand officers which lie supposed existed, the Institu- 
tion could not have suffered much ; but when he gives these 
opinions as founded on Masonic tradition, the matter at issue 
assumes altogether a different aspect. 

We recollect but one instance in his Initiations or 
Antiquities , where the reader is left to the choice of 
believing or not, by reason of his declaration depending on 
mere opinion. In speaking of the celebrated paper said to 
have been found in the Bodlyan Library, in which the witness 
on behalf of Masonry is made to say, that Masonry originated 
with the first man in the East, before the first man in the West, 
the celebrated Mr. Locke remarks, that “ Masons believe there 
were men in the East before Adam.” Dr. Oliver pronounces 
this opinion a mere conjecture, and this not being a conjecture 
of his, but of Mr. Locke’s, the reader would be left to suppose 
that the Doctor writes alone by the authority of Masonic 
tradition, were it not for the fact, that, by turning to page 
k 26 of his Antiquities , we find this language has been already 



extracted, viz.: “But Ancient Masonic traditions say, and, I 
think, justly, that our science existed before the creation of this 
globe, : ” etc. We can not but be struck with the difference 
which the Doctor makes between tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee. 
While the declaration of Dr. Locke goes to show that Masons 
believe Masonry existed before Adam was created is mere 
conjecture, the Doctor asserts, as by authority of Masonic 
tradition, that Masonry did exist before this world was 

We ask, whence comes the Doctor’s traditions ? We have 
learned, what has ever been esteemed the only true Masonry, 
viz., that which has been handed down to us by England. We 
attach no value to any French or modern rites. We profess 
to know and practice “ Ancient York ” Masonry, or Ancient 
Free and Accepted Masdhry,as coming to us through the Grand 
Lodge at York, in England. There is no other Masonry 
oonght in the United States, except in Louisiana, which is not 
tcknowledged elsewhere, and we assert, and challenge contra 
diction, that there are no traditions regarded as well-founded 
or coming through any truly Masonic channel, either in the 
United States or England, which traces Masonry beyond the 
Temple of Jerusalem. But, after some two years labor and 
reflection, the Doctor has had a change come over the spirit ol 
his dreams. Since writing the works already referred to, he 
has produced a large work, entitled the Historical Land- 
marks, and in volume 1st, page 270, he says: “When Jacob 
fled to his uncle Laban, at Mesopotamia, to avoid the resent- 
ment of Esau, the servants were directed by his mother to carry 
the Masonic stone of foundation along with him, in the hope 
that its virtues might prove a talisman of protection in that 
ong and perilous journey.” To this the Doctor adds a note 
and says The authority on which this tradition rests, is 
exceedingly doubtful,” and closes by saying I shall, therefore, 
introduce the traditions of Masonry as they occur, without 
imposing on myself the trouble of vouching for their truth. 
The brethren may estimate them according to their apparent 

Now, is this what we had a right to expect? Could we 



have supposed that Dr. Oliver would write some five or sii 
volumes on the antiquity and traditions of Masonry, giving us 
line upon line in tracing it back to Adam by tradition, assert- 
ing in positive language that Enoch, Noah, Shem, Ham, Japhetk, 
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joshua, Moses, Aholiab, and Bezaleel 
were all Masons, and several of them Grand Masters, and never 
give us reason to believe his traditions came in a questionable 
shape ? Yet, after the lapse ol two years, he lets us know that 
he is only writing the romance of Masonry ; that it is his 
business to give all the idle traditions and superstitious tales of 
by-gone ages, without being at the trouble to vouch for their 
truth, and giving the reader the glorious privilege of adopting 
whatever he may think proper! We hold that there are no 
false traditions in Masonry ; all the traditions which we 
receive with the degrees of Ancient fjraft Masonry are true ; 
they have ever been in substance the same ; they must ever 
continue the same, if Masonry is permitted to remain, where it 
ever has been, unconnected with, and untrammeled by, any 
creeds, confessions, or associations of men ; and that tradition 
which comes in any other way is not truly Masonic, and should 
not be introduced and used as such. We might bring together 
a thousand tales of ancient and modern times, representing 
Masonry to be any and every thing that the ingenuity or 
wickedness of man is capable of inventing, and, as a book of 
notions, we might sell our labor; but, we repeat, we were not 
prepared to expect this from Dr. Oliver. Thousands are likely 
to be misled by his works, from the fact that there are no 
records showing the origin of the Institution ; and Masonic 
traditions stopping short at the Temple, those who are fond of 
the marvelous, and would fain persuade themselves that 
Masonry is religion enough for man’s present and eternal 
happiness, will be too likely to adopt his opinions ; there is the 
more danger of this, because he is an authorized teacher of 
religion. That he is deeply learned in ancient lore, no one 
will doubt, and we only dare suppose that he is in the same 
situation where thousands of other learned men (who are 
Masons) are, viz., unlearned in the true Masonic traditions. If 
this be his situation, and he writes at all upon the subject, he 



must collect his testimony from the writings of others, and in 
the multiplicity of stuff to be found in the world in reference to 
Masonry, it is impossible to separate the true from the counter- 
feit, unless the workman is acquainted with the signet. But 
even though we take this horn of the dilemma, the effects of 
Dr. Oliver’s labor is not the less pernicious on the minds of 
those who prefer the romance of fiction to the plain and 
unadorned truth, which can only be acquired by receiving from 
the few who are qualified to teach the unwritten history of our 
Order. We may be asked if any high-minded, honorable Mason 
would attempt to give to the world a history of Masonry, 
without a thorough acquaintance with all its mysteries and 
secret traditions? We answer unhesitatingly, Yes ; and for con- 
firmation of this opinion, appeal to the observation of the Craft 
everywhere. We ask them to institute an inquiry, and answer 
the following questions : — How many Masonic orations have 
you heard ? Who delivered them ? What portion of these 
expounders of our doctrine and traditions were qualified to 
take the Chair, confer the degrees, and give the Masonic 
lectures which teach the traditionary history of the Institu- 
tion ? Alas, brethren, is it not true that, nine times out of ten, 
men are selected to give to the world the history and principles 
of Masonry, who are little more than able to pass themselves as 
Masons ? IIow often is the inquiry made as to the brother’s 
Masonic learning ? If he is talented, acquainted with profane 
and biblical history, and of sufficient notoriety to command an 
audience, he is considered just the man, and such an one will 
collect from other writings such as he thinks calculated to 
please, without being able to determine how much of it is 
Masonic tradition. 

We know a worthy brother who has published a book on all 
the degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry, and several modern 
ones, which was designed as a standard work (and by the 
way, it is somewhat widely circulated), who, to our knowledge, 
declined being examined as to his qualifications to sit In a 
Lodge of a certain degree, about which he had written learned- 
ly, giving as the reason that he could not pass himself. This 
same author, in social Masonic talK, frequently said tilings 



which those present had no right to hear, not really knowing 
to which particular place they of right belonged. We have no 
means of knowing what position in this particular Dr. Oliver 
occupies, but the most charitable construction we can at present 
place upon his course is, to suppose he is very defective in 
Masonic learning ; we can not believe there is so much differ- 
ence between true Masonic traditions of England and the 
United States. We frankly acknowledge that Ancient Craft 
Masonry has been shamefully subdivided, and that our English 
brethren are less to blame for this than we are, of which we 
may speak hereafter ; still, the truth is not to be lost sight of 
that the same traditional history is afforded by each. 

Say that in England Ancient Craft Masonry is all taught il, 
three or four degrees, while in the United States nine are 
necessary. When one has taken them all, he is entitled to all 
the Masonic traditions ; we believe we have them, and there- 
fore believe Dr. Oliver has not. 

We fear the reader is growing weary of this somewhat 
lengthy notice of the productions of one author, to the neglect 
of those who have claimed to occupy somewhat similar ground. 
To this we beg to say that, but for the appearance of Dr. 
Oliver’s works, it is not probable that we should have written 
a single page as preparatory to our contemplated history. We 
had supposed the opinions advanced by those who wrote from 
1720 to 1800, had become almost obsolete, so far as they tended 
to antedate the existence of Masonry. We had thought that 
Anderson’s History and Constitutions of Freemasonry was written 
^at a period when the Institution was but just rising into 
newness of life, from a long sleep of feeble, if not sickly, exist- 
ence, and that the man who was best qualified did not write its 
history. So we thought of Smith’s Use and Abuse of Free- 
masonry. So we believed of Preston’s Illustrations , and 
Hutchinson’s Spirit of Masonry. But, above all, we had been so 
long in the habit of teaching and hearing taught, in the Lodges, 
the Masonic traditions blended with, and making part of, the 
degrees, that we were not prepared to encounter a dozen 
volumes, written or commented upon and enlarged, near the 
middle of the nineteenth century, by an eminent brother living in 



the home of our fathers, near the very halls in which our honored 
sires received the mystic light, and where they received authority 
and instructions to plant the glorious standard of our Order in 
the New World. We repeat, that we were not prepared to hear 
from that quarter, much less from such a brother, that Masonry 
was practiced by Adam, that Masonry is the true religion, 
when, by our laws, no such doctrine is or ever was taught. 
Masonry never knew but one religious test to give admittance 
within the walls of her holy sanctuary. A belief in the true 
religion or a false religion was never required by the traditions 
or rules of the Craft. A firm belief in the existence of the one 
living and true God is, and, we believe, has ever been, the only 
religious test. We are aware that efforts have been made to 
exclude that very people who, in the days of their glory and 
renown, established our time-honored Institution. A race of 
men degraded and humbled down by the tyrannical laws of 
bigotry and oppression. A people who, though once the chosen 
of God. arc now taught to feel the scourge of a malignant and 
inhuman cower, crushing their energies and blighting their 
hope.- • )1 equal rights with other men. And why? Is it 
because the) have no religion ? No, but because they have not 
tin particular religion of the powers that be. The heathen 
oppress them, because they are not heathen ; the Catholics 
oppress them, because they are not Catholics ; the Protestants 
oppress them, because they are not Protestants. Every religion 
is true or false, as men adopt or repudiate it. Masonry 
furnishes a refuge from all sectarian persecutions and distinc- 
tions. Its doors are ever open to those who believe in a Supreme 
Being, and whose character for morality and good deportment 
make them fit associates for gentlemen. We will not deny that 
invidious distinctions have been attempted by some Lodges in 
the United States ; they have passed edicts requiring candidates 
for Masonry to subscribe to sectarian dogmas in the Christian 
religion. But sucli are the materials of which our Fraternity is 
composed, such the veneration for the Ancient Landmarks, that 
when departures of this sort have been kindly reproved, the 
offending brothers have cheerfully retraced their steps. If 
Masonry is the true religion, then should its privileges and 



benefits be restricted to the truly pious ; and as we firmly 
believe in the truth of the Christian religion, we should confine 
Masonry to Christendom, and to a small number even here. 
Then would Masonry cease to be universal ; then would we 
travel from land to land and from sea to sea, and rarely meet 
with the footprints of Masonry ; then would it become sectarian 
in all its features; and so long as the Christian Church is not 
swallowed up by the “Masonic Church,” so long would our 
Lodges be filled with bigots, fanatics, and hypocrites — -just such 
materials as constituted nearly all the secret societies of the 
heathen. God save us from such an alternative. No. my 
brethren, let us go on in the even tenor of our way, teaching 
Brotherly Jove, Relief, and Tru with the motto of “Faith, 
Hope, anc vity let us send it forth into the uttermost 
parts of the earth ; let us make it what God designed it should 
be — a moral preparation for holier things — a stepping-stone 
from virtue to grace — a handmaid to lead us on, by gentle 
pursuasion, to higher and nobler deeds ; and God, who never 
yet withheld the protection of his outstretched arm, will con- 
tinue to shield and defend it through all ills. It may be, and 
we are tempted to believe it will become, one of the means 
employed by Jehovah to run through heathen lands and bring 
every knee to bow and every tongue to confess that Jesus is 
the Christ, not because it is the true religion, but because it 
inculcates all the moral precepts of the Holy Bible, and 
persuades all men to search that record. Yea, they can not be 
accomplished Masons in any other way. And how often has it 
happened, how often may it happen again, that, while its 
notaries are searching for Masonic truths, the Spirit of the Most 
High God will illumine their understandings, and light them 
on to ineffable glory. If the sacred truths which our Institution 
teaches may but make us better men, better citizens, better 
moralists, then it is worthy to receive the hearty welcome of 
all good and virtuous men, whether they be Christians or 
Pagans. But if it shall be able to accomplish more ; if its 
tendency is to lead its votaries from the contemplation of sub- 
lunary things to the enduring blessings of another and a better 
world , if it point to the great book of nature and revelations. 


4 9 

u the source from which wc may learn to escape impending 
ruin, and “ lay hold of the hope set before us/' then should it 
command the prayers of the virtuous, for then will it have, as 
we believe it ever has had, the strong arm of Jehovah to succor 
md sustain it through all time. Should we ask more ? Docs 
justice demand more ? Dare we claim more ? Does Dr. 
Oliver, as a Christian, believe the plan of salvation revealed in 
the Scriptures at fault, that we need Masonry to perfect it ? 
We answer, No, no ; even he can not believe it ! As educated 
Christians, we may believe that Masonry is calculated to lead 
men from the evil of their ways, and point to the glorious plan 
of redemption ; it may go forth, like John the Baptist, proclaim- 
ing its heavenly mission to prepare the way for a mightier than 
it. It may point to the cross of a risen Saviour ; it may tell 
of the wonderful works of Him who spake as never man spake ; 
it may even lead the weary and fainting invalid to the Pool of 
Siloam, and tell of the miraculous virtues of the water of life ; 
bat its holy mission stops here ; it can not wash the polluted 
soul from the disease of sin ; it can not, because God has not 
so appointed. We claim for Freemasonry very much. We 
claim for it some powers which will be denied by those who do 
not believe it points to the Christian religion ; and while we 
respect their feelings, and question not their motives, we claim 
the same freedom from censure. We confidently look forward 
to the day when the great system of missionary labor, which 
has been so nobly begun in this land of ours, will be cheered 
on and powerfully aided by the mild and genial influence of 
Masonry. When the missionary shall go forth with the Holy 
(lible in one hand, and our Book of Constitutions in the other : 
fidien he shall plant the standard of our holy religion, and open 
a Lodge and preach the principles of Masonry in the imposing 
and solemn forms peculiar to our ceremonies, we venture to 
predict that the heathen Mason will be the first to embrace the 
Christian religion. Nor can it be otherwise, because to a 
proper understanding of Masonry, he must search the Bible. 
We now close our remarks as introductory to our history, only 
remarking that we shall doubtless have occasion frequently 
to refer to them in the progress of our history. 


Hating, as we humbly conceive, clearly shown that Dr 
Oliver has claimed for Freemasonry a degree of antiquity not 
sustained by any reliable testimony, and some principles which 
its votaries never practiced, we have only to add that our 
arguments will apply with equal force to all others who, in 
like manner, have attempted to throw a romance around it o 
origin and early history. 

It now remains for us to show, as near as may be, when 
Masonry was instituted, and what were the principles taught in 
its primeval purity. We have said it was not known in the 
Garden of Eden ; we have said it was not known to the Ante- 
diluvians ; we have said that the fancy sketch which clothes 
Enoch, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and a host of 
"thers, with the royal robe of Grand Master, is too deeply 
covered with fiction to stand the mirror of truth; and we have 
further said, that there is no testimony upon which a prudent 
man would risk his character, as an author, going to show 
that it had a being until the building of the Temple at Jeru- 
salem. There, we believe, it was introduced and perfected.' 
With every Mason who lias become acquainted with the third 
degree, we shall have no difficulty to establish this truth. But 
how difficult does it become to satisfy those who are not Ma- 
sons, that our venerated Institution has even this antiquity? 
For when we have given a true and faithful account of the 
excellent tenets of the Order, and traced it back to the mogt 
remote period of which there is the slightest recorded evidence, 
still is there a mighty interregnum to be' filled by other means 
than sacred or profane history. 

We have stated that we rely more implicitly on a well 
defined tradition, transmitted from age to age, from one organ- 
ized association to another, in support of any supposed event 
happening anterior to the dai'k ages, than upon any profane 



history, and we apprehend this is the opinion of most well 
informed men. The Mason, therefore, who has the tradition 
upon which we shall rely, will be constrained to admit our 
position to be correct, while those who know nothing of that 
tradition, are called upon to exercise a liberal faith in our 
declaration of what is, and what is not, clearly defined tradi- 
tion ; and we ask this the more earnestly, not because we care 
so much whether it has this or that much antiquity, but because 
Masonry lias no history aside from, and independent of, its 
traditions. Strip it of its sacred lineage, as handed down 
from generation to generation, through the medium of oral 
communications, from father to son, from brother to brother, 
from society to society, and you reduce it to a level with the 
lowest schemes that were ever invented to delude a credulous 
or superstitious people. All our talk about “Ancient Land- 
marks/ 7 “ Ancient Usages/ 7 becomes an idle tale, if Masonry 
originated before or since the building of the Temple. The 
entire fabric becomes a flimsy tissue of misrepresentations, 
worthy only of the ridicule of all. On the other hand, admit 
its origin as staled, the great good which it was designed to 
accomplish, and it stands forth m ail the moral grandeur and 
magnificence of the first, the greatest, the most powerful aux- 
iliary to our holy religion — the only Association that, through 
weal or woe, through sunshine or storm, through evil as well 
as through good report, has never failed to inculcate and 
propagate the inimitable truths of God’s holy law. All other 
associations have come and gone, because they were conceived 
in sin, or brought forth in iniquity. God’s withering blight 
has been laid upon them, because corruption was in their mid?;. 
We say we must fix its origin at the erection of the Temple, 
because all Masonic traditions go to, an.! not beyond, that 
period of time. There is not an Ancient Craft Degree that 
does not point to the Temple, there is not a lecture that does 
not go back to the Temple, there is not a ceremony that does 
not lead the mind to that beloved spot. King Solomon was 
our first great teacher, he it was who conceived the plan and 
v -°'2ght the beautiful system into befng;and, while the excellent 
lessons taught' by Masonry would remain just the same, we 



repeat, that if the Institution took its origin anywhere else, 
all the forms, ceremonies, and reasons for their use are false, 
and should be indignantly rejected. And with a view that 
our readers, who are not Masons, may the better understand 
and appreciate our views, we voluntarily give the most sacred 
pledge that we will not put forth and claim as Masonic 
history, that which we do not sincerely believe to be sustained 
by the tradition of the degrees ; nor will it be difficult to 
confine ourself to the truth. The Ancient Craft Degrees are 
the same everywhere ; their history is the same, and though 
the simple truth may strip the lectures of some gewgaws and 
trappings of modern innovators, and though they be deprived 
of some of the fascinations of modern refinement, the fault is 
not ours. As a faithful historian, we do not feel at liberty to 
write for those who expect us to tickle the fancy, and captivate 
the imagination, by dealing in the miraculous. We intend to 
have no interest in misleading any one. We expect our work 
to stand upon its merits for truth, believing, as we do, that 
much harm has already been done to a great and good cause, 
by claiming for it more than is warranted by the facts. Truth 
assumes many of the appearances, if not attributes, of falsehood, 
when it is overdrawn or clothed in fiction. There lived, in 
the early ages of the world, men whose excellent qualities and 
noble conduct rendered them, doubtless, ornaments to society, 
as the benefactors of mankind ; but instances are numerous, 
where a just appreciation of their worth was merged into a 
blind deification and worship of their names, until so much 
fable attaches to their history, that, at this day, the most saga- 
cious are at a loss to determine whether such men ever lived, 
except in the imagination of an idolatrous world. We are not 
ashamed to say, that we tremble for the history and con 
tinuance of Masonry, if it is to be enveloped in the mists of 
mere conjecture. We tremble at the judgment of an enlighten- 
ed community, if you prove that Masonry existed at a period 
when no traces of its good works can be shown, or at a period 
when every secret association, of which we have an account, 
was strictly idolatrous, and, as we believe, in every essential 
particular, save the account of the Flood, directly at war with 



our holy religion, and the laws of God. Prove to the well 
informed historian, that Masonry existed before the days of 
Solomon, and after the Flood, and lie will be bound to declare, 
that it was a heathen Institution in all its original designs. 
Tell him that it existed before theFlood, and he will ask you, 
What for? What was it designed to perform? Was it to 
build the Ark ? W as it to cause Adam to partake of the for- 
bidden fruit, in order that he might learn the mystic art of 
making an apron? Or, was it to bring Adam to repentance 
after his fall? We believe Masonry has been made, by different 
writers, to do all these things ; and yet is the history plain and 
simple when once understood. But when men have not given 
themselves the trouble to become acquainted with the well 
defined traditions of the Order (and great labor and time is 
required to do so), if they write its history, they must neces- 
sarily be groping in the dark. 

We here state, as our opinion, that God is the author of 
Masonry. Start not, reader ; we do not mean to say that the 
Great Jehovah condescended to form Lodges, and preside in 
their midst, but we do mean to say that it was the result of a 
divine gift, as we shall presently attempt to show. 

We believe one of the objects designed to be accomplished 
by its introduction, was the overthrow of those secret societies 
that tended so powerfully to enslave the minds of the great 
masses, and subject them to the whims and caprices of the few, 
who governed and controlled the world through the machina- 
tions of priestly superstitions. Age on age had rolled away, 
since the great body of the people worshiped the one only 
living and true God. Here and there only was Ilis name to 
be found engraven upon the hearts of men. Sodom and 
Gomorrah could not furnish ten who knew and acknowledged 
His divine law. The city of Jericho could furnish but one 
family, while many others were destitute of a soul to acknow- 
ledge His immaculate power. Even the children of Israel, 
that chosen people, selected for the purpose of receiving the 
manifestations of His mighty power and great glory, who were 
the daily recipients of His miraculous mercy and unceasing 
goodness, too often spurned the hand that fed them, and defied 



the power that preserved them from impending ruin. To us it 
seems strange, that when God made Himself known as the 
avenger of their wrongs, snatched them from the galling yoke 
of slavery, commanded an East wind to open them a way 
through the Red Sea, and when their mighty and relentless foe, 
like blood-hounds, were at their heels, caused the river to give 
back its mighty torrent, and engulph Pharaoh and his host 
ocneath its flood ; we say, it seems strange that these people 
should ever cease to feel grateful, and fail to worship at His 
footstool. But, alas ! how melancholy a picture does their 
after history present. The truth is, as we suppose, that the 
world had long been engrossed in the thick darkness of idola- 
trous worship, and the remembrance of Egypt's abominations 
was rolled under their tongues as a sweet morsel, for they 
longed for the flesh-pots of their task-masters, rather than the 
glory of their Heavenly Father. 

When Solomon was called to the throne of Israel, there were 
a number of secret societies in successful operation, all profess- 
ing to teach the wonderful mysteries of nature, the miraculous 
power of certain gods, and teaching all initiates how to escape 
all evils in this, and the world to come. When we shall come 
to speak of these societies, the caverns, incantations, and 
ceremonies, every Mason will see that there is no shadow of 
resemblance between them and Masonry ; but such was the 
regard entertained by the Egyptians for them, and such the 
estimate placed upon the admission to their honors, that few 
men lived without the hope of being permitted to enter the 
sacred Society, pass through the secret cavern, and be crowned 
with a knowledge which would serve as a talisman against all 
evil to which man is heir. And he who failed to perform the 
inhuman penance necessary to initiation, was ever after regarded 
as an outcast, unworthy the society of men, dead to the world, 
and cursed to all eternity. To counteract the direful effects of 
all this, could a better method have been devised than the 
establishment of a new secret Society, clothed with all the 
paraphernalia of secret ceremonies, signs, and symbols which 
Masonry has ever used? We wish not to be misunderstood : 
we do not believe that this was all that was to be effected by 


Masonry. Nor do we say that tradition tells us that it was 
created for this purpose at all. But we do say that the 
teachings of Masonry, instead of inculcating a belief in the 
power and miraculous influence of heathen gods, laid the 
foundation of a knowledge of that God and that religion which 
could alone enlighten the mind, and point to a glorious immor- 
tality. While we are constrained to admit that this opinion, 
as to one great end of the Institution, is probably expiessed for 
the first time, and may, at first view, appear altogether 
visionary, we ask whether it is not in accordance with the 
general plans of the great Jehovah ? Has He not, in all 
ages, adapted His instructions to the habits of His people ? 
Has He not given numerous instances, clearly showing that He 
requires the use of means on the part of His created intelli- 
gences, to the accomplishment of the great end to be attained ? 
Noah was required to build an Ark, in which he was to be 
saved; when, if it had been in accordance with the divine plan, 
Noah could have been saved without the use of any such means, 
[n like manner, Moses was commanded to cast his rod upon the 
ground, and take it again ; to thrust his hand in his bosom and 
take it out ; to thrust it in a second time and take it out ; to 
take water from the river, and pour it upon the dry ground ; all 
these things were commanded to be done, as a prelude to the 
miracles intended to be exhibited to an unbelieving and gazing 
multitude; and yet, no one attributes the performance of these 
miracles to any power in Moses, except so far as God had 
bestowed. No one supposes that, by striking the rock, Moses 
possessed the power to make that act bring forth water. God 
used Moses as a means, through which infinite power was 
manifested. So with our Saviour, when He spat upon the clay 
and with that clay opened the eyes of the blind. When He 
commanded the invalid to go to the Pool of Siloam, and wait 
for the troubling of the waters, in order to be healed, no one 
doubts the power of God to have effected these events by a 
simple act of will ; indeed, the whole plan of salvation, the 
coming, death, and ascension of Jesus Christ, clearly exhibit 
the general plan of using means, and those means were always 
suited to the capacity, and, in many instances, agreeable to the 



preconceived habits of receiving and communicating instruction ; 
and as John the Baptist was sent to prepare the way, wean the 
people from wickedness, and turn them to the Redeemer of the 
world, is it far-fetched to suppose that Masonry was instituted 
to prepare the way, wean men from their secret, as well as open 
abominations, turn them from a blind worship of idols, and the 
machinations of a corrupt Society, to the great truths of God’s 
holy law ? The world has ever run after the marvelous and 
hidden mysteries of life; and while Masonry presented to the 
uninitiated all the charms of other secret societies, and urged 
him, by the same superstitious views, to seek admission, no man 
ever entered within the vail of its holy sanctuary without being 
taught to tremble beneath the strong arm of the mighty 
Jehovah, venerate His holy name, love and adore Him, as the 
chief among ten thousand and altogether lovely. It is not 
likely that any who were initiated into Masonry were ever 
alter blind idolaters, for the very name which Masonry boro 
indicated to the world around, and reminded the initiated, that 
theirs was a knowledge above all the trappings of heathen 
mysteries. They were called the “ Sons of Light,” and truly 
were they a lamp to light the footsteps of a dark and benighted 
people, from the worship of a thousand immaginary gods, to a 
rational homage of Him “ Who sits upon the whirlwind, and 
rides upon the storm.” 

From the days of Abraham to the reign of Solomon, a period 
of more than fourteen generations, the Jewish nation continued 
to rise in power and influence among the nations of the earth; 
and yet it can not be supposed that this was owing to their 
superior attainments in knowledge, for, in the arts and sciences, 
they were greatly behind their neighbors. It must, therefore, 
have been the result of God’s special care over them, and this 
protection of divine Providence continued about the same 
number of generations. 

We now proceed to notice some of the prominent events 
attendant upon the erection of the Temple. 

Those who are conversant with the Bible will remember that 
David desired to erect a house to the Lord, in which to deposit 
the Ark of the Covenant, and afford a fit resting place for the 



great Shekinali, made every preparation in his power, amassing 
and laying up money for that purpose, and sought to learn the 
spot of ground upon which it had been decreed the house should 
stand, but God had determined that he, whose hands were 
stained with blood, should never build the Holy Temple. Yet, 
David being a man after God's own heart in all the outpour- 
ings of a benevolent spirit, God was pleased to promise him 
that the great and glorious work should be executed by his 

When Solomon was called to the throne of Israel, out of the 
fullness of his soul to promote the happiness of his people, and 
cause them to live to the honor and glory of their Lord and 
Master, he devoutly prayed that his Heavenly Father would 
endow him with wisdom, adequate to the proper government 
of the great nation over which he had been called to preside. 

God, being pleased with the motive which prompted this 
thirst after knowledge, answered his prayer by granting him 
greater wisdom than had ever been bestowed on any king, and 
added thereto such riches as would enable him to perform the 
mighty work without let or hindrance. 

From the earliest period of his reign, Solomon commenced 
preparations and contemplated the speedy completion of the 
Temple : and, as he received superior wisdom as a divine gift , and 
as God set apart this work to be performed by him, is it not 
fair to suppose that this superior wisdom was given for the 
purpose of enabling him to perform the task assigned him in a 
manner which no other man was qualified to do ? 

Solomon, as our traditions inform us, and as is recorded in 
the Bible, sent to Hiram, King of Tyre, to purchase timbers for 
the Temple. Hiram, being ardently desirous to assist in the 
glorious undertaking, cheerfully agreed to comply with the 
request ; and, moreover, offered to have the timbers felled, 
hewed, marked, squared, and numbered, and delivered at what- 
ever place might be designated by Solomon, without charge. 
Solomon desired to pay for them, and Hiram agreed to receive 
what would feed his workmen. “ I will do all thy desire, con- 
cerning timber of cedar and timber of fir. My servants shall 
bring tlmm down from Lebanon unto the sea ; and I will con* 



vey them by sea in floats, unto the place thou shalt appoint me, 
and will cause them to be discharged there, and thou shalt. 
receive them ; and thou shalt accomplish my desire in giving 
food for my brotherhood.” — 1 Kings v. 8, 9. 

Upon this contract, Solomon sent to Hiram, annually, corn, 
wine, and oil. (See 1 Kings v. 11.) All the workmen weie 
under the supervision and control of Solomon, as to the plan of 
the work and style of execution. He also sent into Tyre, and 
procured the services of Hiram Abif, generally known as the 
“Widow’s Son,” in contra-distinction to Hiram, the King. The 
mother of Hiram Abif was of the tribe of Naphthali ; and con- 
sequently, an Israelite, but his father was a man of Tyre. Hiram 
Abif, therefore, was only a Tyrian by courtesy, and not by the 
strict laws of the land. It is said, by some historians, that early 
in life he attracted the favorable notice of Abibalus, the father 
of Hiram, King of Tyre, who, foreseeing the preeminent talents 
of the young man, gave his powerful influence in advancing the 
young artist, and this kindness was rewarded by young Hiram’s 
devotion to the advancement of his country’s glory, and the 
happiness of the people ; and though cut down in the bloom of 
years, he had acquired the well earned reputation of being the 
ablest artificer on the earth. 

Our traditions inform us that, in the mere form of the build- 
in&\ Solomon took for his model the Tabernacle which Moses 
erected in the wilderness. But we candidly confess our belief 
that too much latitude has been given to this history, as it seems 
to us the Tabernacle of Moses only served as a model for the 
Sanctum Sanctorum, and not for the entire edifice. 

We have said that Solomon instituted and established Ma 
sonry, and we now proceed to give some of the reasons which 
present themselves to our mind, in addition to those which we 
are not at liberty to publish. And first, as already stated, all 
our traditions 'point to him , as its first great founder. Second, 
he was the first Most Excellent Grand Master, of which we 
have any account. Third, Hiram, King of Tyre, and Hiram 
Abif, were King Solomon’s confidential friends and counselors ; 
and during the building of the Temple, and until it was nearly 
completed, these three constituted the only Master Masons in t/u 



world ; from tuem emanated all the instructions in the degrees 
— nor were any conferred but by their authority, and the third 
degree, as now in use, was instituted by King Solomon, as weil 
to perpetuate an important event, and transmit to future ages a 
striking example of unprecedented integrity and moral firm- 
ness, as to serve the invaluable purposes contemplated by tha 
great founder of a Society, whose very elements would be cal 
culated to bind together, in one common union, a band of 
brothers in every age, cemented by those sacred and indis 
soluble ties which an association of benevolent spirits always 
engender. Fourth, Solomon foresaw that if the children of 
Israel continued in their rebellion against the holy laws of God 
to do them, their enemies would be let loose upon them, that 
their city and Temple would be sacked and destroyed, and the 
remnant of the Jews be carried away into captivity, and this, 
too, by barbarian force, the delight of whom would be to 
destroy every vestige of the arts and sciences, and especially 
the Holy Law and all the holy vessels. To guard, as far as God 
permitted against this impending evil, Solomon instituted a 
plan, by which a knowledge of the degree which was lost at 
the building of the Temple, a copy of all the holy vessels, a 
knowledge of the arts and sciences, together with a true copy 
of the Book of the Law given by Moses, were all safely 
deposited, preserved, and transmitted to after generations. 
Other reasons crowd themselves upon our mind, but, for the 
present, we pause to inquire the probable weight which should 
be given to these. 

We here repeat, that the clearly defined traditions of the 
Craft unequivocally teach all we have stated above. Then, is 
it not remarkable, that if Masonry existed before the days of 
Solomon, some of its traditions do not point to the time, place; 
or persons engaged in its practice? Is it not strange, that 
Solomon is reputed as the first Grand Master, if Masonry 
existed in the antediluvian age, or in the days of Noah, Enoch, 
etc. ? For if, down to the time of Solomon, Masonry had been in 
practice, how comes it that, at the time of the building of the 
Temple, Solomon and the two Hirams were for several years the 
only Master Masons in the world? Gan it be believed that 



Masonry existed for ages before, and yet at the period of which 
we speak, but three could be found, even admitting our tradi- 
tions to be silent as to their being the first ? Will not the well 
informed Mason, who adopts the opinion that Masonry lias 
existed in all ages, marvel that when the degree of Master 
Mason was lost, because of the peculiar condition in which 
Solomon and Hiram, of Tyre, had voluntarily placed themselves, 
that none others could be found upon the broad spread earth 
who were not so situated, but that it was necessary it should 
remain buried to the world for the space of four hundred and 
seventy years? But, say these lovers of extreme antiquity, 
Masonry was remodeled by King Solomon, and assumed a new 
form at the building of the Temple. To this we have only to 
answer that, while we can not absolutely prove that Masonry 
did not previously exist, we are driven to the conclusion, that 
if Masonry was remodeled by King Solomon, it was so done 
as to leave no traces of its previous existence in any form 
whatever — for no man ever lias, nor is it likely ever will 
furnish one jot or tittle of testimony that Masonry at the Temple 
owed its existence to, or had any connection with, any secret 
association of previous existence. W T e, therefore, marvel that the 
man has ever been found to hazard his reputation by saying that 
Masonry, as a Society, is coeval with man, when this opinion is 
sustained alone by the supposition that its principles are such 
as must have been more or less in use in all ages. Nor have 
we ever been able to appreciate the desire of these men so 
tenaciously to adhere to this flimsy doctrine of extreme 
antiquity. We admit Masonry is endeared to our hearts by 
having a head made venerable by long ages ; and we glory in 
the remembrance that it triumphantly marched through count- 
less revolutions, and nobly withstood the crush and ruin of 
kingdom after kingdom, empire after empire, and still lives 
and shines on earth, as a star does in bright glory. We say, 
we rejoice in this, because it furnishes evidence, not easily 
rejected, that an all-wise and over-ruling Providence has 
shielded and protected it from the pelting of the pitiless storms 
that have been hurled against its bulwarks. But what need we 
more ? Need we break through the barriers of truth, and trace 



its genealogy through the dark vista of time, until the very 
imagination is lost in the flitting clouds of other times and other 
worlds ? Must the gray hairs, which have adorned its noble 
brow for more than twenty-eight hundred years, be silvered 
over with a few hundred generations more, in order to gratify 
our propensity for the marvelous, and thus attach us to the 
Order ? For ourself, we see not the necessity nor an apology 
for such a course. 

We now proceed to give what we believe to be the clearly 
defined history of the three first degrees. There were employed 
at the building of the Temple one hundred and fifty-three 
thousand three hundred workmen. Whether these were all 
selected from the true descendants of the twelve tribes of 
Israel, or indiscriminately from all parts of the world, is not 
of vital importance to the proper understanding of our subject 
but we hope always to give a preference to the Holy Bible, 
especially when it is conflicted with by men who undertake, 
without any superior light, to set it at naught by mere declama- 
tion. Some such as these have stated, as historians, that, inas- 
much as some Greek artists settled in Asia Minor about fifty 
years before the reign of Solomon, and as the Greeks were the 
best workmen in architecture then in the world, therefore, 
Hiram, King of Tyre, must have sent some of these to Solomon. 
We regard this as worse than mere conjecture, because it 
amounts to an effort to account for the unparalleled splendor 
of the Temple, when completed, on other grounds than those 
plainly taught in the Bible : “ And King Solomon raised a levy 
out of all Israel, and the levy was thirty thousand men. And 
he sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month, by courses ; a 
n ontli they were at Lebanon, and two months at home, and 
Adoniram was over the levy.” “ And Solomon had three score 
and ten thousand that bare burdens, and four score thousand 
hewers in the mountains. Besides the chief of Solomon’s 
officers, which were over the work, three thousand and three 
hundred, which ruled over the people that wrought in the 
work.” — 1 Kings v. 13-16. 

The difficulty arising in the minds of some, in admitting the 
selection to be made from the Jews is, that this people were 



not accomplished workmen in architecture. But of how little 
importance is this obstacle, if we admit the truth of the Bible, 
in stating that God gave Solomon superior wisdom ; while, on 
the contrary, if we set out with the calculation that none 
worked on the Temple but the very best Greek artists, the 
superior style and finish of the building can not be thus 
accounted for • for whether we take the statements of the 
Bible, or of Josephus, it is represented as so far transcending all 
others made by human hands, as to stand forth the wonder and 
admiration of the world — and it will not do to say that it was 
remarkable only because of the rich and costly ornaments, for 
we are told in so many words, that “ when the building was 
completed, its several parts fitted with that exact nicety, that 
it had more the appearance of the handy work of the Supreme 
Architect of the Universe than of human hands . 7 And it 
seems to us, idle to attribute the honor to any other than God 
Himself, operating through Solomon. It was erected by divine 
command — and is it unreasonable to suppose that God would 
take care of His own house, and give wisdom to man for its 
completion in such a manner as to surpass all others ? To us, 
there is nothing inconsistent or difficult to be understood in all 
the plan and execution of the work, if we will but consider 
that the Supreme Architect drew the plan, and if our brethren 
would read the Bible more, and mere speculators less, we 
should have much less difficulty to contend with in the history 
of our Order, and much more clearly understand our duty to 
God, our neighbor, and ourselves. 

The workmen were divided into classes or Lodges, according 
to their skill and ability to perform higher or lower orders of 
work, and their advancement in knowledge and virtue. 

We will not stop to give in detail, our reasons, but we must 
be permitted to say, that we believe Masonry was Speculative 
as well as Operative in its original plan, and at a proper time 
we shall attempt to show that since the days of Sir Christopher 
Wren (the last Operative Grand Master), we have thrown off 
Operative, and retained, not substituted, Speculative Masonry • 
and that, whenever the Ancient Landmarks are well defined and 
clearly set forth, the valuable lectures of Brothers Webb, Cross* 



and others, must be shorn of much of their fanciful ornaments, 
which have been introduced to adapt the Institution to the 
times and circumstances under which we live. 

We believe that Entered Apprentices at the Temple were 
those who came forward and had their names recorded to 
serve till the work was completed — that, thereupon, Solomon 
gave them a lesson, or set of instructions adapted to their capac- 
ities, calculated as well to promote their own interests and 
happiness, as to forward the great work ; and as soon as they 
had proved themselves worthy, by having acquired an intimate 
acquaintance with said instructions, he gave them privileges 
and benefits which were enjoyed by none who were not engaged 
upon the Temple. 

Our traditions clearly teach that he gave them certain secret 
signs and tokens, by which they would be able to make them- 
selves known as Sons of Light, whithersoever they might be 
dispersed. And we would ask, What advantage could result 
ro them from this ability to recognize and be recognized by the 
ternity, if they were strictly operatives, and in possession of 
no skill as v orkmen, superior to thousands of the Greeks ? W e are 
inclined to the belief that Entered Apprentices, then, were quali- 
fied to do better work, and were better instructed in the arts 
and sciences, and a knowledge of Godandhis holy law, than were 
many of the most accomplished Greeks, and hence were they pre- 
pared, should any event prevent their further advancement in 
Masonic degrees, to go forth and reap the benefit of instructions 
received at the hands of one sent of God. 

This degree is justly esteemed of greatly less value than the 
third or even second • and yet, when we properly appreciate 
the moral lessons here taught, we are struck with the convic- 
tion that a God-like wisdom must have instituted it. The very 
first lesson teaches the candidate that humility is necessary to 
the acquisition of all true knowledge, and here is shown a 
striking likeness between this great system of ethics and that 
sublime system of Christianity taught in the Holy Bible. To 
whom does Masonry promise its benefits and blessings? To 
those only who humble themselves to a proper condition to 
receive — to those who come forward as deperdent creatures. 



To whom does God promise the benefits and blessings of Chris 
tianity ? To those only who humble themselves as suppliants 
at the footstool of his sovereign mercy. 

To whom does Masonry promise those invaluable secrets by 
which the Mason is permitted to enter the company and enjoy 
the advantages of the Sons of Light ? He who voluntarily 
enters into a covenant to keep sacred and inviolable the myste- 
ries of the Order, and obey its ancient and established laws. 
To whom does God promise those inestimable secrets of His holy 
council, which enables the recipient to exclaim. “ I know that 
my Redeemer liveth?” To him only who will enter into a 
solemn covenant to walk in His statues and keep His command- 

To whom does the Entered Apprentice’s degree promise 2 
recompense of reward ? To him only who shall divest himsell 
of all the vices and superfluities of life, stand upon the Square 
ot Virtue, live by the Llumb-line of Truth, and thus form the 
corner-stone upon which lie may safely build his spiritual and 
eternal edifice. To whom does God promise a recompense of 
reward ? To him only who will deny himself all ungodliness 
and worldly lusts, and live soberly and righteously in this 
present evil world. 

Thus we think may be traced even in this, the preparatory 
and least important degree, a striking likeness between the 
divine teachings of our Heavenly Father and the Institution of 
Masonry. Nor are these salutary lessons the invention of 
modern times. They were taught at the building of the Tem- 
ple — they have been taught ever since, and palsied be the arm 
thal shall be raised to oppose or withhold them. Who then will say 
that Masonry was Operative only in former times? Who shall 
say it was anti-Christian in its formation ? And, above all, who 
shall say that the finger of God does not point to its origin, and 
Hisright arm guard it in its onward march to the accomplish 
ment of its divine mission of “ peace on earth and good will Co 

The Entered Apprentice is presented with a white garment, 
as an emblem of that purity of life and rectitude of conduct, so 
necessary to his gaining admission into the celestial Lodge 



above, where presides our Supreme Grand Master. He is taught 
so to divide his time, that he may devote eight hours to the 
service of God and a distressed worthy brother, eight to the 
common avocations of life, and eight to refreshment and sleep. 
He is further taught to use the “ common Gavel ” to divest his 
mind and conscience of all the vices and superfluities of life, 
thereby the better fitting his body, as a living stone, for tha 
spiritual building, that house not made with hands, eternal h 
the heavens. He is taught to look with wonder and admira 
tion at yonder “ cloudy canopy, and starry-decked heavens, 
whither every good Mason hopes to arrive by the aid of ths 
theological ladder which Jacob, in his vision, saw ascending 
from earth to heaven, the three principal rounds of which are 
denominated Faith, Hope, and Charity, and admonish us to have 
Faith in God, Hope in immortality, and Charity toward all man- 
kind ; but the greatest of these is Charity, because Faith may 
be lost in sight, Hope ends in fruition, but Charity extends be- 
yond the grave, through the boundless realms of eternity.” The 
Entered Apprentice is pointed to the Mosaic pavement, the 
indented tassel, and the blazing star, to remind him that this 
life is checkered with good and evil, that around it hangs a 
beautiful tesselated border of comforts and blessings, which we 
may enjoy by a faithful reliance on divine Providence, the hier- 
oglyphic star of the Entered Apprentice Mason. He is taught 
that the Mason’s Lodge, in which our brethren formerly ceased 
from their labor and sunk to sweet repose, conscious of a well 
spent day in toil, and labor, and brotherly kindness, and char- 
ity, is typical of that Grand Lodge where saints and angels 
^emble around the throne of God to welcome the returning 
prodigal with songs of rejoicing and hallelujahs to the Lamb 
for ever and ever. This, this is Apprentice Masonry, and who 
does not discover the finger of God in all this ? 

Oh ! how must the Christian Mason’s heart bleed at hearing 
this glorious Institution wantonly assailed 1 


As the second, or Fellow Craft’s degree, as now conferred, 
it? infinitely less important than it was at the building of the 
Temple, and, as a faithful historian, it will devolve on us to 
show why this is so, we shall not shrink from the task when 
the appropriate time shall arrive ; but, as we are now consider- 
ing the earliest history of our Order, we think it proper to lay 
before our readers Masonry as it then was, and in tracing its 
somewhat obscure advancement through several ages, arrive 
at, and account for, the changes alluded to, as best we may. 
That the Fellow Craft’s degree embraced a much larger 
amount of valuable instruction, both in reference to Speculative 
and Operative Masonry than is now to be found in the degree, 
we think the well informed Mason can not rationally doubt. 
Who and what were the eighty thousand Craftsmen employed 
at the building of the Temple? We hesitate not to say that 
they were accomplished workmen ; that, while it was the busi- 
ness of the Entered Apprentice to prepare the Rough Ashler, it 
was the business of the Fellow Craft to polish and perfect the 
stone for the builder’s use, to accomplish which great skill and 
experience were necessary ; that these workmen were inferior 
only to the three thousand and three hundred whom Solomon 
had qualified by still superior instructions to take charge of 
and oversee the work, must be apparent to all : that the most 
vigilant watch was kept over them, in order that no imperfect 
work might be assigned to, or find a place in, the edifice; and 
that, to insure this result, the most perfect system of checks and 
balances were instituted. If we understand the degree, as then 
in use, the work of those men was regularly brought up to the 
Temple for inspection and careful examination by such as 
were fully competent ; £id the system of examination was so 



perfect as to admit of no infractions, nor was it possible tliat 
the Craftsmen could be imposed upon, should a corrupt over- 
seer be placed to examine the work, for every Craftsman was 
furnished with means by which he was safely protected from 
having it appropriated to the use of another. So in reference 
to the wages, which we are traditionally informed were paid 
regularly on the evening of every sixth day. No mistake or 
injustice could be done. Every man who had, in obedience to 
the established rules of the Order, accomplished a piece of 
work, had a right to demand, and always received, the wages 
justly due. And here we are struck with the simplicity and 
perfection of the system, as adding another evidence of the 
divine hand that directed ; for, so infinitely perfect was the 
system, as noticed, that while the workmen were guarded and 
protected in all their rights, in like manner did it safely and 
completely protect King Solomon from any imposition, even 
to the smallest sum demanded by that vast multitude of Crafts- 
men. It is worthy of remark, that after the lapse of so many 
ages, and all the powers and inventions of man have, from 
time to time, been brought to bear, in order to facilitate easy 
and correct settlements of accounts and the speedy liquidation 
of just demands, no system has ever been discovered or 
brought into use that will at all compare with that to which 
we now allude, but which the Mark Master Mason of the 
present day can alone understand. We are aware that we lay 
ourselves liable to ridicule by those who are unacquainted with 
Masonry, in stating the fact that one man paid off regularly, 
justly, and satisfactorily, every Craftsman ; and, when the 
number is considered, we are aware how natural it is for those 
who have not become acquainted with the simple plan, to 
declare the thing utterly impossible, and yet he who has wit- 
nessed an exhibition of the work has probably wondered more 
that lie had not thought of so simple a method, than that the 
thing was impracticable. It will be seen, therefore, that we 
believe the Mark Master’s degree, as now given, is part and 
parcel of the Fellow Craft’s degree ; that this is true, is mani 
fested by a variety of reasons, few of which, however, can be 
written, but which must suggest themselves. 



To the intelligent Mark Master, indeed, the history of our 
Order shows that, in England, as late as the middle of the last 
century, subordinate Lodges had no power to confer higher 
degrees than the Entered Apprentice. The right to confer the 
Fellow Craft and Master’s degree was reserved alone to the 
Grand Lodge, or to a Lodge summoned by the Grand Master. 
Again, the history of the degrees, as detailed in the Fellow 
Craft and the Mark Master’s, embraces much of the history of 
the Temple, as also of the Institution of Freemasonry ; and here 
we learn, most conclusively, that Masonry at the building of 
the Temple was Speculative, as well as Operative, in its charac- 
ter. The recipient of this degree is taught, not only the 
operative use of the Plumb-line and Square, but the moral 
application of these important symbols to the life and conduct 
of man, as an intelligent and responsible being ; he is forcibly 
impressed with the two-fold representation that, while King 
Solomon decreed that all good and true men, who wrought 
their regular hours, and produced such work as the overseers 
were authorized to re.ceive, should reap the reward of their 
labor in temporal things, so should he, whose life and conduct 
passed the Square of the Grand Overseer, in the final day of 
accounts, be entitled to receive and feed on “ the corn of 
nourishment, the wine of refreshment, and the oil of joy.” He 
is forcibly taught, that as man was created a rational and 
intelligent creature, capable of the highest enjoyments in this 
life, so should he be constantly employed, not only in the 
industrious exercise of his physical powers, in producing and 
promoting man’s comfort and convenience, by providing shelter 
from the inclemency of the seasons, but he is required to bring 
into active exercise all those higher and ennobling attribute? 
of the mind, which render him only a little lower than th 
angels. The study of the arts and sciences, and their propei 
application to the melioration of the condition of man, is not 
only recommended, but, we apprehend, was formerly made to 
constitute a pre requisite to admission to this degree. We are 
prepared to admit that much of the lecture, as now given in the 
Fellow Craft’s degree, is of modern introduction — still do we 
believe that the principle is retained. That the five orders of 


architecture were presented to the attention of the Masons iq 
the order they are now used, or that the seven liberal arts and 
sciences were all classified, and given for the study of the 
candidate, in the manner we now use them, we do not believe ; 
but we do believe that the history of the Brazen Pillars, the 
manner and end for which they were erected, and a close 
application to the study of astronomy, geometry, etc., were not 
only advised, but enforced, as a qualification for advancement 
to this degree. Nor is this a far-fetched conclusion, when we 
remember the mission that Solomon was called to perform. 
Can any one suppose that God gave Solomon superior wisdom 
for no other purpose than the erection of the Temple? We 
think not. We can not conceive of an extraordinary exercise 
of infinite power for the accomplishment of a finite end only — 
nor does the moral condition of the world, at the period of 
which we write, authorize such a belief ; but we are forcibly 
driven to the conclusion that the great end to be attained by 
that King, called of God, was to elevate the standard of 
moral excellence, by all means calculated to impress the mind 
of man with the belief of his immortality and dependence upon 
his great Creator. The working man was lifted from his low 
and degraded condition, to a level with the most favored of his 
species. The accomplished mechanic stood proudly preeminent 
among the most honorable and praiseworthy of men. Nor was 
this effect temporary in its character ; for many centuries after, 
yea, down to the time of Sir Christopher Wren, princes and 
rulers sought for, and labored to obtain, a place among the 
architects of the land. But this elevated platform, upon which 
mechanics formerly stood, was not attained by mere machines, 
or by simply imitative beings; but the genius, the energy, the 
power of intellect was called into requisition. The recipients 
of the mystic tie were taught to throw off the worship of 
pagan gods, and the mummeries of debasing superstition; they 
were instructed to regard the law of Moses as emanating from 
the divine will of the only living and true God ; they were 
taught to look upon vice as tending to mar the happiness of 
man on earth, and endanger his happiness to all eternity. 
They were persuaded and entreated, by all the beauty of 


holiness, to cultivate and practice every virtue, as a means of 
contentment on earth, and a final passport to another and a 
better world, where the righteous Judge will reward every man 
according to his merits — when the good and true shall inheri 
the kingdom prepared for them, from the foundation of tin 
world ; and, as a powerful means of impressing the mind with 
the unlimited power of the great Jehovah, the student of 
Masonry, the humble but faithful Fellow Craft, was pointed to 
the starry heavens, hung with the rich drapery of God’s handi- 
work ; he was taught to look to the bending arch which over- 
spreads this vast universe, and contemplate the illimitable power 
and great glory of that God, wiioby His fiat spoke into being and 
harmonious action another and another, yea, worlds on worlds, 
until our own is lost, or stands as but a speck in the constellation 
of countless worlds, all ruled by the same unerring law of the 
Divine Architect of the Universe. How contracted and 
unsatisfying to the reflecting mind must be the doctrine that 
Solomon taught Operative Masonry alone. How false and 
ridiculous must our ceremonies appear, if they are, or ever 
were, intended only to minister to the temporal wants of man. 
How ridiculous to teach the novitiate the sublime truths con- 
tained in our lectures, as handed down from time immemorial, 
if these are all but a tale of modern invention ? But how 
beautifully sublime, how ennobling to the soul, are all these 
lessons of instructions, if we feel assured they emanated from 
that man, called of God to teach mankind the secret of happi- 
ness, and furnish a password that shall gain us an entrance 
into the supreme Grand Council of Heaven. Masonry was 
evidently designed to lift the soul of man from its fallen and 
degraded condition, superinduced by a blind worship of a 
plurality of gods, to a knowledge of that system which can 
alone supply the wants and save from endless ruin ; and he 
who is brought to study the heavenly bodies, and the arts and 
sciences, must have a mind strangely perverted, that does not 
behold the wonder-working hand of our supreme Grand Master, 
and who will not acknowledge the rational homage due to the 
Creator and Preserver of all things. 

We do not believe that Masonry and geometry were ever 



synonymous terms, but we do believe that a study of geometry 
was made incumbent upon all who sought to obtain advance- 
ment in Masonry. A knowledge of geometry, and an acquaint- 
ance with the liberal arts and sciences, was necessary to a 
proper understanding and appreciation of the divine attributes 
and powers of Jehovah ; and, as intimated before, Solomon had 
a two-fold mission to perform ; it was his business, as well as 
pleasure, to erect a building to the honor and glory of God, and 
to teach mankind, through the medium of Masonry, how to 
fill that aching void in the soul, and satiate that longing after 
immortality. We have thought much upon the subject of this 
degree, and have come to the conclusion that, in the subdivision, 
the end has been made the beginning, and vice versa. We think 
the entire degree of Mark Master constituted the major part of 
the work of the degree of Fellow Craft, and the second section 
of the Fellow Craft's degree, as now given, is a modern inven- 
tion. If the Fellow Craft’s degree, as used at the Temple, was 
not founded upon a certain stone spoken of in the Bible, we 
would ask upon what event or transaction it was founded ? 
And this inquiry is the more apparently proper, as all other 
degrees are founded upon some great transaction, either alluded 
to in the Bible, or handed down through our sacred and 
unerring traditions. 

The degree, as now conferred, is not sufficiently marked to 
characterize it as so important as the degree wa« at the building 
of the Temple ; but, take it in connection with the Mark Master, 
and it at once presents a well defined history of the causes 
which led to its introduction, the great end to be accomplished 
by it, both in reference to the benefits it bestowed on the 
working class of the community, as mechanics, and the moral 
bearing and influence it was destined to exercise on all who 
were permitted to come within its pale and claim its benefits ; 
*ea, we doubt whether anything has ever been presented to the 
And of man, so well calculated to restrain the wild passions of 
:ne human heart, draw the cords of love and reciprocal friend- 
snip so closely around the affections, and incite to noble and 
benevolent action. Where is the true Craftsman that would 
not feel drawn by the sacred ties of Brotherhood, when hailed 



by the sign of distress or suffering ? Who would not feel it a 
privilege to administer to the wants of that brother whom 
misfortune has assailed, or disease prostrated ? Who would 
fail to recognize the stone spoken of in the Revelations of 
St. John : “ To him that over cometh will I give to eat of the 
hidden manna ; and I will give him a white stone, and in the 
stone a new name written, which no man knc vveth, saving him 
that receivetli it.” — Rev. iii. 13. “ He that hath an ear to hear, 
let him hear.” 

Psalms : — “ The stone which the builders refused is become 
the head-stone of the corner.” 

Chronicles ii. : — “And we will cut wood out of Lebanon, 
as much as thou shalt need ; and we will bring it to thee in 
boats by sea to Joppa, and thou shalt convey it up to Jeru- 

Ezekiel xliv., 1 and 5 : — “ Then he brought me back the way 
of the gate of the outward sanctuary, which looketh toward 
the East, and it was shut. And the Lord said unto me : ‘ Son 
of man, mark well, and behold with thinu eyes, and hear with 
thine ears, all that I say unto thee concerning all the ordinances 
of the house of the Lord, and all the laws thereof ; and mark 
well the entering in of the house, with every going forth of the 
sanctuary. 7 77 

How beautifully illustrative of the important truths incul 
eated by this degree, is a proper understanding and application 
of the Scripture here quoted ! How infallible are the means 
here unfolded, of securing secret relief for suffering humanity ! 
How simple, and yet how perfect, the plan here taught, of 
protecting all men from falling a prey to the cravings of 
hunger ! We marvel, not so much that this degree was insti 
tided for mutual protection of all its recipients, but that thg 
means adopted are so simple and easy of execution, that all may 
understand and practice them. That the secrets of this degree, 
which enabled the brother to recognize and claim the friendship 
and protection of the brethren everywhere, were given by King 
Solomon to all those who proved themselves worthy, we believe 
the traditions of the Order sufficiently show. That the eighty 
thousand Craftsmen were accomplished workmen and scientific 



men, we appeal to the perfection of the work as proof. That 
they were under the influence of the most perfect system of 
moral government, superinduced by the most sacred ties of that 
holiest of all the holy principles of Christianity — love — love t« 
God and love to man, we may safely refer, not only to ou\ 
traditions, but to the history of the building of the Temple, as 
given in the Bible. That so many men could be restrained 
from a violation of the law, by any other means short of divine 
influence, or the teaching of our holy religion, we think can 
not be seriously claimed, even by the skeptic, and that a 
mistaken view of the claims of justice, on the part of the Craft, 
and a corresponding dissatisfaction growing out of such an 
error, was readily determined and satisfactorily adjusted by a 
proper understanding of the true meaning and intent of the 
law (such as occurred on one occasion), can only be accounted 
for by the supposition that a power divine, a religious influem e, 
was operating and harmonizing the whole. We dare i of 
believe that men, in those days, were exempt from vicious 
desires, and uninfluenced by mercenary motives ; we can not 
rationally suppose that so vast a concourse of men wrought 
together in perfect harmony, patiently submitting to the gov- 
ernment of one man, influenced alone by the wages received, 
or the advancement they made in a knowledge of mere Opera- 
tive Masonry. No, no ; the omnipotent power of an omnipotent 
God was working in them to do of His own good pleasure. 
They had learned, not only valuable secrets, to render them 
efficient and accomplished workmen, but their judgments were 
convinced of the rational homage due to the Great Source of all 
good, and hence the exercise of moral principle upon their lives 
and conduct ; hence their obedience, cheerfully and heartily 
given, to the Moral Law ; and, while we boast of the rapid 
strides in intellect and moral culture, and the still onward 
march of mind, we could wish the evidence was before us that 
Masons of the present day stood shoulder to shoulder, an 
harmonious band, prepared to do as well as did these primitive 
Masons, llow mortifying to the philanthropist, how heart- 
rending to the Christian Mason, must be a comparison of the 
present with the past! Where is the spirit, the genius of 



Masonry, that once united the Brotherhood in the bonds of love., 
made holy by the mystic tie ? Where is the plastic hand that 
once spread the cement of affection, and united the Fraternity 
into one common mass of pure and disinterested friendship ? 
Has the spirit departed, or does it sleep, only to arise in might, 
and majesty, and great glory, to shed around its benign and 
vivifying influence over this broad land ? Brethren, are you 
prepared to answer ? God is waiting to be gracious, and it is 
with us to say wdiether our light shall be made so to shine, that 
others, seeing our good works, may glorify our supreme Grand 
Master. Let us, then, awake from the lethargy of our slumbers, 
put on the armor of our fathers, and go forth, resolved to do 
and dare all things for the glorious cause. The field is larger, 
and we have, perhaps, more discordant materials to amalgamate 
than had the primitive Masons, and, therefore, the greater the 
necessity for a more vigorous and powerful effort to subdue our 
passions, and improve ourselves in Masonry. Could we all live 
in strict obedience to the rules of our Order, could we show 
forth, in our lives and conversation, the spirit of the lessons we 
are all taught within the Lodge, how beautiful — how incompar- 
ably beautiful would be the spectacle to a gazing and admiring 
world ! 

We confess ourself involved in some difficulty in treating 
of the Fellow Craft and Master’s degree, because, in the first 
place, if we turn to the writings of Bro. Anderson, the 
author, or rather the compiler, of the Ancient Constitutions , in 
1722, or Bro. Entick, who wrote in 1756, we are instructed 
that on some, indeed, on all occasions, it was then common to 
call Master Masons, Fellows ; and, unless we are careful, a 
misconstruction of the author’s views will be the result. It, 
however, appears plain to us that at that day it was common to 
speak of all Master Masons, not in authority, as Fellow Crafts, 
that is, Brother Craftsmen ; while he who had charge of the 
immediate work of erecting a building was called the Master 
Mason. This is manifest as late as the time of Sir Christopher 
Wren, who was the Grand Master of Masons, and superintend- 
ed the erection of so many buildings in the city of London, 
after the great fire. Bro. Wren could not have been more than 



the designer, the great architect, while the Craftsmen were 
divided into Lodges, with a Master at the head of each, who 
was careful to see that the designs of the Grand Master were 
carried out while it is quite probable that very many of the 
Craftsmen or members of the Lodges were Master Masons. 
Second, because if the Master’s degree had not been given, up 
„o the time at which our traditions place it (viz., near the com 
pletion of the Temple), we are at a loss to determine what was 
the degree of advancement of those three thousand three 
hundred overseers. But as the Master’s degree, referred to in 
our traditions, intended to be given to the Craft after the 
Temple was completed, evidently embraced a set of instructions 
altogether superior to those in possession of the overseers, and, 
as these were never given by King Solomon, Hiram, King of 
Tyre, and Hiram Abif, is it not probable that the overseers 
received most of the instructions contained in the present 
Master’s degree, and, after the completion of the Temple, these, 
and all other worthy Craftsmen, received the remainder of the 
degree, which enabled them to become undertakers, by having 
the power of drawing designs upon the Trestle Board, and that 
the instructions were given through the medium of the degree, 
then introduced and now in use ? We can not believe that the 
overseers were no better instructed than the Fellow Crafts ; 
and the beautiful system, introduced by King Solomon, for 
rewarding merit, and yet holding out inducements for all the 
workmen to remain engaged upon the Temple until its com- 
pletion, may be seen and appreciated if we take this view of 
the subject, for while all were advanced in knowledge and an 
increase of wages, in strict conformity to their industry and 
skill, none were allowed to receive the crowning degree, 
embracing those instructions which qualified them to become 
undertakers or master builders, until after the completion of 
the Temple, for it must be manifest that if this instruction had 
been received at an early period, most, if not all, the workmen 
thus instructed would have left the Temple unfinished, and gone 
forth in the world as undertakers, as by this course they would 
have amassed great fortunes, and established themselves a name 
as superior workmen and architects, while the Temple could 



not have been completed at the time it was. We, therefore, 
suppose that King Solomon gave to three thousand and three 
hundred of the most accomplished Fellow Crafts, an additional 
set of instructions in architecture and the arts and sciences, 
thereby qualifying them to oversee the execution of the work 
assigned to the Craft ; and this is the more probable, when we 
remember that these overseers were not qualified to inspect or 
superintend all the work. It is known to the well informed 
Mason, that our traditions inform us that some portion of the 
work was not intrusted to any but the three Grand Masters. 
Now, it is not likely that this would have been necessary, or 
that the time of these distinguished men would have been 
occupied in manual labor, had not some great reason operated 
to withhold a knowledge of the art of accomplishing the finest 
and most secret work from those engaged on the Temple. 

As the degree of Master Mason includes many of the most 
important rules for the well being and happiness of man, and the 
moral influence of its teachings are forcibly impressed upon the 
mind by appropriate symbols, we propose to return and give the 
reader a more minute account of the events that led to the intro- 
duction of the Order, and trace its history down to the present 

We have said that David desired to build the house of the Lord, 
to afford a resting place for the Ark of God, but not until near the 
close of his reign do we find him engaged in any important work 
of architecture. When he had taken the city of Jebus from his 
enemies, and fixed his residence at Zion we are informed that he 
employed workmen in repairing and beautifying the walls and 
public edifices, and so much was Zion improved, that this, in con- 
nection with his residence there, gave it the name of the city of 
David, and he gave to the old city of Jebus the name of Jerusalem. 
But while David was aware that God would not permit him to 
build the house of the Lord, we have evidence that he did all in 
his power to prepare for the work, for, a short time before his 1 
death, he assembled all the chiefs of his people, and informed them 
that he had gathered together an immense treasure, laid up large 
quantities of rich materials, and plans and models for the differ- 
ent parts of the building, acquainting them with the will of God, 



that the house was to be executed by his son Solomon, and he 
urged them to give their assistance and cooperation when the 
time should come. Shortly after, the King died, in the 
seventieth year of his age, having reigned seven years in 
Hebron, over the house of Judah, and near thirty- three over all 
the tribes. 

The fraternal letters which passed between Solomon and 
Hiram, King of Tyre, although familiar to many of our readers, 
seem, nevertheless, necessary here, as a connecting link in this 
history. We. therefore, give the one most important and inter- 
esting to Masons : 

“ King Solomon to King Hiram , greeting : — Be it known unto 
thee, 0 King, that my father David had it a long time in his 
mind to erect a Temple to the Lord, but, being perpetually in 
war, and under a necessity of clearing his hands of his ene- 
mies, and make them all his tributaries, before he could attend 
to his great and holy work, he hath left it to me, in time ol 
peace, both to begin and finish it, according to direction, as 
well as the prediction of Almighty God. Blessed be His 
great name for the present tranquility of my dominions ; and 
by His gracious assistance, I shall now dedicate the best 
improvements of this liberty and leisure to His honor and wor- 
ship. Therefore, I make it my request that you will let some 
of your people go along with some servants of mine to Mount 
Lebanon, to assist them in cutting down materials toward this 
building, for the Sidonians understand it much better than we 
do. As for the workmen’s reward or wages, whatever you 
think reasonable shall be punctually paid them.” 

King Hiram returned the following answer : 

11 King Hiram to King Solomon : — Nothing could have been 
more welcome to me than to understand that the government 
of your blessed father is devolved, by God’s providence, into 
the hands of so excellent, so wise, and so virtuous a successor 
His holy name be praised for it. That which you write foi 
shall be done, with all care and good will ; for I will give 
order to cut down and export such quantities of the fairest 
cedars and cypress trees as you will have occasion for. My 
people shall bring them to the sea-side for you, and thence 



ghip them away to wliat port yon please, where they may lie 
ready for your own men to transport them to Jerusalem. 1 
would be a great obligation, after all this, to allow us such a 
provision in corn in exchange as may stand in your convenience, 
for that is the commodity we islanders want most.” 

Solomon, thankfully accepting of this generous offer, ordered 
a yearly present to be sent to Hiram of twenty thousand mea- 
sures of corn, twenty thousand measures of wine, twenty thou- 
sand measures of oil, twenty thousand measures of fine oil for 
his household, and twenty thousand of barley, and it was 
agreed that the timbers were to be delivered at Joppa. Hiram, 
the King, also sent Solomon a man of his own name, a Tyrian 
by birth, but of Israelitish descent, who was more than a 
second Bezaleel. In 2 Chronicles ii. 13, he is called Hiram 
Abif, the most accomplished and skillful workman on earth. 
Anderson, in his Ancient Constitutions , makes the assertion that, 
in Solomon’s absence, Hiram Abif filled the office of Deputy 
Grand Master, and in his presence was Senior Grand Warden, 
or principal surveyor and master of the work. We make the 
following extract from the same work, pages 18 and 19 : — “ In 
2 Chronicles ii. 13, Hiram, King of Tyre (called here Huram), 
in his letter to King Solomon, says, ‘ I have sent a cunning 
man, El Hiram Abif,’ which is not to be translated like the 
vulgate Greek and Latin, Hiram, my father, for his description, 
v. 14, refutes it, and the words import only Hiram, of my father, 
or the chief Master Mason of my father Abibalus. Yet, some 
think that King Hiram might call the architect Hiram his 
father, as learned and wise men were wont to be called by 
royal patrons in old times. Thus, Joseph was called Abuch, 
or the King’s father, and this same Hiram, the architect, i3 
called Solomon’s father, 2 Chronicles iv. 6.” 

But the difficulty is over at once by allowing the word Abif 
to be the surname of Hiram, the artist, called in the Scriptures 
Hiram Abbi, and again Hiram Abif, as in the Lodge he is called 
Hiram Abif, to distinguish him from Hiram, the King, for this 
reading makes the sense plain and complete, viz. : —that Hiram, 
King of Tyre, sent to King Solomon the cunning workman 
called Hiram Abif. He is described in two places in the Bible. 



riz. : — 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles. In the first, he is called the 
Widow’s Son, of the tribe of NapLtali; and in the other, he is 
called the son of a woman of the daughters of Dan — but in 
both that his father was a man of Tyre, that is, she was of the 
city of Dan, in the tribe of Naphtali, and is called a widow of 
Naphtali, as her husband was a Naphtalite, for he is not called 
a Tyrian by descent, but a man of Tyre by habitation, as Abed 
Edom, the Levite, is called a Gittite, and the Apostle Paul a 
man of Tarsus. But though Hiram Abif had been a Tyrian by 
olood, that derogates not from his vast capacity, for the Tyrians 
were now the best artificers, by the encouragement of King 
Hiram, and those texts testify that God had endowed this Hiram 
Abif with wisdom, understanding, and mechanical cunning 
to perform everything that Solomon required, not only in 
building the Temple, wdtli all its costly magnificence, but also 
in founding, fashioning, and framing all the holy utensils thereof 
according to geometry, and to find out every device that might 
be put to him ; and the Scriptures assure us that he fully main- 
tained his character in far larger works than those of Aholiab 
and Bezaleel, for which he will be honored in Lodges till the 
end of time. 

In confirmation of the above, it may be proper to state that 
Hiram Abif was not only celebrated for his skill in building, 
but his superior knowledge extended to all kinds of work, 
whether in gold, silver, brass, or iron, as also in linen tapestry, 
or embroidery. Dires, the historian, is of the opinion that the 
love of wisdom was the chief inducement to that tender and 
devoted friendship which so long existed between Solomon and 
Hiram — that they proposed to each other difficult and deep 
hidden problems, and Entick states that “ Menander, of Ephesus, 
who translated the Tyrian annals out of the Philistine tongue 
into Greek, also relates, that whenever any of these proposi- 
tions proved too hard for those wdse and learned princes, 
Abdymonus or Abdomenus, the Tyrian, called in the old 
Constitutions, Amon, or Hiram Abif, answered every device 
that was put to him, and even challenged Solomon, though the 
wisestPrince in the world, with the subtility of the question he 
proposed.” Now, that Hiram Abif solved all the difficult 



problems put to him by Solomon, or Hirany King of Tyre b 
true, because the Scriptures declare as much. But we proceed 
to notice an important discrepancy between the statements of 
Anderson and nearly all the writers of the present day, in the 
subdivision ol the Craft at the building of the Temple. Dr. 
Oliver, we believe, is the only one who agrees with Anderson, 
and he quotes the language and uses the figures of the latter, 
without exercising the magnanimity to give the credit. The 
following is an extract from Anderson’s Constitutions : 

“To carry on this stupendous work with greater ease and 
speed, Solomon caused all the Craftsmen, as well natives as 
foreigners, to be numbered and classed as follows : 

“ 1. Harodim, Princes, Rulers, or Provosts, in number three 

“ 2. Overseers and comforters of the people in working, that 
v ere expert Master Masons, three thousand three hundred. 

“ 3. Stone squarers, polishers, and sculptors, and men of 
newing. and setters, layers, or builders, being able and ingenious 
E^ellow Crafts, eighty thousand. 

“ 4. The levy out of Israel, appointed to work in Lebanon 
one month in three, ten thousand every month, under the direc- 
tion of noble Adoniram, who was the Junior Grand Warden, 
thirty thousand. 

“All the Freemasons employed in the work of the Temple, 
exclusive of the two Grand Wardens, were one hundred and 
thirteen thousand six hundred, besides the Islqormen of burden, 
the remains of the old Canaanites, amounting to seventy thou 
sand, who are not numbered among Masons.” 

It will be seen, by the foregoing extract, that the three thou 
sand three hundred overseers were, in the opinion of Bro. 
Anderson, not only Master Masons, but expert ones. But while 
we are gratified at being able to bring such high testimony in 
support of a theory we have been teaching for many years, viz., 
that the overseers were advanced above Fellow Crafts, much like 
the first section of the Master’s degree advances at the present 
day, still we are not satisfied ; for, as before remarked, if the tra- 
dition handed down to us is true, the Master’s degree was not 
given until the completion of the Temple, that is, the degree 

history of freemasonry. 


which we now have, and overseers could not have had the one 
that was lost, for the same tradition informs us that, up to that 
period, none were in possession of it but the three Grand 
Masters. We also learn from Bro. Anderson another evidence 
in support of a theory in reference to Entered Apprentices, 
which we have taught for many years, and, until now, sustained 
only by the fact that Solomon was endowed with superior 
wisdom, and, therefore, was capable of giving to Entered 
Apprentices instructions in architecture and the arts and 
sciences, which would make them superior to any others in the 
world who were not under his control. If the opinion of Webb, 
Cross, and others, were true, that Entered Apprentices were 
bearers of burden only, of course our conclusion as to their 
superior knowledge was erroneous, but we never could bring 
our mind to believe that Solomon would admit seventy thou- 
sand men to the degree of Entered Apprentice Mason, or in anj 
way unite them in fraternal bonds, and make them bearers of 
burden. Again, Anderson says that, while the Fellow Crafts 
were parceled off into Lodges, with Wardens over them, for 
the purpose of receiving the commands of King Solomon in a 
regular way, and the better to take care of their tools and 
jewels, they took Entered Apprentices, and educated them, with 
the noble purpose of perpetuating their succession, and handing 
down those valuable secrets from generation to generation. 
Nor is there any other opinion well sustained, for it is idle to 
suppose that Solomon instructed each, in person, daily ; and, on 
the other hand, how much instruction could these Entered 
Apprentices have received, directly from the Fellow Crafts, or 
indirectly from King Solomon, if they were daily engaged in 
carrying the hod ? On the contrary, take the ground assumed 
by Bro. Anderson, and a beautiful system is presented, by which 
the strong bonds of union and love, created by mutual friend- 
ships, are cemented by the holy ties of affection, never to be 
broken ; for each ministered to the other’s wants, comfort, and 
happiness, and the advancement of each, in knowledge and 
virtue, served but to highten the enjoyment of all. IIow 
beautifully sublime appears this great plan of benevolence 
*dien we are able to harmonize its several parts, and trace ita 



foundation to Him only who could speak it into being! We 
marvel, not that all men do not study the benign principles of 
Masonry, and spread more widely the cement of Brotherly Love, 
but we do marvel that Masons, who are Christians, do not all 
study its beautiful proportions, and discover its intimate con- 
nection with our holy religion, and the strong arm of its power 
in bringing men nearer, and yet still nearer, the throne of 
grace. Can any man be a good Mason, and not remember that 
God is gracious ? Can any man understand Masonry, and not 
feel that he has no right to violate His holy law ? We answer, 
No, no ; and every Christian Mason should use its principles as 
a means of reforming others. 


The traditions of our Order, and the old records which 
• were brought together by order of the Grand Lodge of ✓ 
England, in 1718, and carefully examined by Bro. Ander- 
son and a Committee of the Grand Lodge, agree in fixing the 
time of laying the foot-stone, or corner-stone, of Solomon's 
Temple on the second day of the month Zif, which answers 
to the 21st of April, in the fourth year of the reign of King 
Solomon, the third after the death of David, and four hundred 
and eighty years after the passage of the Children of Israel 
through the Red Sea, in the year of the world two thousand 
nine hundred and ninety-two, after the Flood one thousand 
three hundred and thirty-six, and before Christ one thousand 
and twelve. 

This mighty structure was finished on the eighth day of the 
month Bui, which answers to the 21 s u of October, being the 
seventh month of the sacred year, and the eleventh of the reign 
of King Solomon. 

We presume a minute description of the Temple will not be 
necessary here, as we hope our readers are all familiar with 
the Bible; but we have made some estimates, which are not 
generally found in Masonic works, of interest to the reader of 
Masonic history. The length of the Holy Place, or Temple 
proper, from wall to wall, was sixty cubits, sacred measure, the 
breadth twenty cubits, and the higlith to the upper ceiling, 
thirty cubits, being every way just double the size of the 
Tabernacle. The Oracle, or Most Holy Place, was a perfect 
cube of twenty cubits. The wall of the outer court, or Court 
of the Gentiles, was seven thousand seven hundred feet in 
circumference, and all the apartments would contain three 
Sundred thousand people. The Oracle and Sanctuary were 



lined with massive gold, beautified, embellished, and adorned 
with sculpture and numerous gorgeous and dazzling decorations 
of diamonds and all kinds of costly stones. 

Tt has been conceded, on all hands, that no edifice has ever 
been constructed that will at all compare with this in exact 
proportions and beautiful decorations, from the splendid porticc 
in the East, to the glorious and revered Sanctum Sanctorum 
in the West. Men, in extreme vanity, have attempted to sur- 
pass this masterpiece of Masonry, but it has never been 
3qualed, nor ever will, unless God shall again condescend to 
plan and oversee. 

We would venture an opinion upon the subject of religion 
with great diffidence, but we can not but think the construction 
of this Temple was intended to prepare the world for the 
religion of our Saviour ; for, while the Jews would not worship 
with the Gentiles, and despised them as being unworthy the 
favor of Heaven, God put it into the heart of Solomon to 
provide a place for the worship of all nations, thereby prepar- 
ing the minds of the Jews for that doctrine which offers 
salvation freely to all, placing all men on a level, and pointing 
all to the one only living and true God, as the source of every 
good and perfect gift. To those who deny that Solomon 
erected the Temple under the influence of supernatural power, 
we beg to propound a question, viz. : Why is it, that in the 
lapse of so many ages, with the onward march of mind, with 
all the improvements in the arts and sciences, no specimen of 
architecture has ever been produced to equal the Temple, 
either in exact proportions or beauty of finish ? Why is it that 
no near approximation to it has ever been made? 

Anderson, in his Ancient Constitutions , states that a shorr 
time before the consecration of the Temple, Hiram, King of 
Tyre, came to take a view of that mighty edifice, and inspect 
the different parts thereof, that he was accompanied by King 
Solomon and the Deputy Grand Master, Hiram Abif, and that 
after a thorough examination he pronounced it to be the utmost 
stretch of human art. That here it was that Solomon renewed 
the league with Hiram, the King, and made him a present of the 
Sacred Scriptures, translated into the Syriac tongue, which i? 



said still to be extant among the Maronites and other eastern 
Christians, under the name of the Old Syriac Version. This, he 
states, took place in the year of the Flood 1356, before Christ 
992. Now, the above statement that Hiram, the King, left at 
that particular time to visit the Temple, is all true, but the 
manner in which the author makes the representation, carries the 
idea to our mind that he intends to say that this was the only 
time Hiram ever visited the Temple, and our Masonic readers 
will perceive that this opinion conflicts with our traditions ; for 
we are not only taught that Eliram, the King, spent much of his 
time at the Temple, but that in the erection of a cciia in piece 
of work he was an operative ; hence, it becomes a grave ques- 
tion with us, whether our traditions in relation to the Temple 
have not, by inattention and ignorant teachers, confounded the 
two Hirams, for we candidly confess our inclination to believe 
Anderson more nearly correct, as it does not seem reasonable 
to suppose that the King would leave his own people anl 
kingdom, and devote a great portion of his time to the erectioi 
of the Temple of Solomon. But Anderson is mistaken in 
stating the date of King Hiram’s visit; he says: “It was a 
short time before the consecration, and in the year of the Flood 
1356.” Whereas, if this building was commenced in the year 
1336, one thousand and twelve years before Christ, and was 
finished in little more than seven years, it must have been dedi- 
cated about one thousand and five years before Christ, instead 
of nine hundred and ninety-two. We know there is a dif- 
ference in the calculation of some chronologers of four years 
between the era of Christianity and the birth of Christ, but there 
is nowhere a difference of thirteen years. We are hence 
driven to the necessity of supposing the calculation incorrect, 
ndess we adopt the opinion (not sustained by proof, that we 
Know of), that the Temple was not dedicated until thirteen years 
after the laying of the cape-stone. Again, Anderson states 
that the celebration of the cape-stone was interrupted by the 
death of Hiram Abif, which every Master Mason will see is at 
variance with our traditions as given at the present day, but 
will give the author’s language. He says : 

The Temple of Jehovah being finished under the auspices of 



the wise and glorious King of Israel, Solomon, the Prince of 
Architecture, and the Grand Master Mason of his day, the Fra 
ternity celebrated the cape-stone with great joy ; but their joy 
was soon interrupted by the sudden death of their dear and 
worthy Master Hiram Abif ; nor less was the concern of King 
Solomon, who, after some time allowed the Craft to vent their 
sorrow, ordered his obsequies to be performed with great 
solemnity and decency, and buried him in the Lodge near the 
Temple, according to the Ancient Usages among Masons ; and 
long mourned for his loss. 

“ After Hiram Abif was mourned for, the Tabernacle of 
Moses, and its holy relics, being lodged in the Temple, Solomon, 
in a general assembly, dedicated or consecrated it by solemn 
prayer and costly sacrifices past number, with the finest music, 
vocal and instrumental, praising Jehovah, upon fixing the holj 
Ark in its proper place between the cherubims ; when Jehovah 
filled His own Templewith a cloud of glory.” 

The Master Mason will perceive that we can not enter into 
an argument here to sustain or disprove Bro. Anderson's 
views, but we may be permitted to venture the opinion that 
they are the deductions of his own mind, drawn from some 
other source than old manuscripts. First, because we do not 
believe there is a particle of tradition to sustain him ; and 
second, we do not believe a manuscript was then in existence 
detailing that portion of Masonic history ; for we must all believe 
that much greater care and caution was used in committing to 
writing anything in reference to Masonry, than at the present 
day — and his opinions go to show that the traditions of nearly 
all the degrees, as given at the present day, are incorrect, and 
for this we are not prepared. 

Dr. Oliver also states that Hiram Abifs death occurred 
luring the dedication of the Temple, and that the dedicatioi 
services continued twice seven days. Now, if Anderson i 
correct in saying that Hiram Abifs death interrupted the cer< 
monies, and a reasonable time was given to the Craft to mour 
the loss of their beloved Master, how could the ceremonies ha^ 
continued, as stated by Dr. Oliver, twice fourteen days? Fc 
we suppose he means successive days. 



We will make another extract from Anderson’s Constitution* 
in reference to the splendor and magnificence of the Temple, 
and refer the curious reader to Josephus and the Bible for a 
more extended and minute account. 

“The fame of this grand edifice soon prompted the inquisitive 
of all nations to travel, and spend some time at Jerusalem, and 
survey its excellences, as far as was allowed to the Gentiles ; 
and they soon found that the joint skill of all the world came 
infinitely short of the Israelites in the wisdom, strength, and 
beauty of their architecture, when the wise King Solomon was 
Grand Master of all Masons at Jerusalem, and the learned 
King Hiram was Grand Master at Tyre, and the inspired 
Hiram Abif had been Master of the work ; when true, complete 
Masonry was under the immediate care and direction of Heaven ; 
when the noble and the wise thought it their honor to be the 
associates of the ingenious Craftsmen in their well formed 
Lodges ; and so the Temple of Jehovah, the one true God, be- 
came the just wonder of all travelers, by which, as by the most 
perfect pattern, they resolved to correct the architecture of their 
)wn countries on their return.” 

The fame which the Temple acquired was not based upon the 
•size or extent of the edifice, for if we bear in mind that it was 
only one hundred and fifty feet long, by one hundred broad, it 
will be seen that, at that day, there were many buildings much 
larger. The Egyptian Temples, which could not be compared 
with Solomon’s in proportion, style of execution, or beauty of 
finish, were, many of them, vastly more extensive in outline, and 
massive in form. The palace at Carnac, from West to East, is 
about twelve hundred feet, and this measurement does not 
include any of the appendages or apartments beyond the main 
building. The breadth is more than three hundred and thirty 
feet. The Temple of Jupiter, at Agrigentum, in Sicily, is three 
hundred and forty-two feet long, one hundred and sixty-one feet 
wide, and one hundred and nineteen high. The dimensions of 
St. Paul’s, in London, as wo learn from Sir Christopher Wren, 
is, from East to West, five hundred and twenty feet, and from 
North to South, exclusive of the portico doors, is two hundred 
and eighty-one feet. The Temple of Solomon astonished and 



confounded the world, because of the perfection of all its parts, 
and by its evidences of the wonder-working hand of God, the 
Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat, overshadowed by the 
Shekinali, the Urim and Thummim, the Holy Fire, and the 
Oracular Voice of Jehovah. 

In reference to the costly stones used in beautifying the 
Temple, we insert, as a matter of curiosity, an extract from 
Dr. Olh er : 

“ An old Masonic tradition relates that, about four years 
before the Temple at Jerusalem was commenced, Hiram Abif 
purchased from some Arabian merchants several curious stones 
and shells, which they informed him were discovered on the 
shores of the Red Sea by some persons who had been ship- 
wrecked. Hiram, the King, hearing of this circumstance, 
deputed Hiram Abif, with certain vessels, to examine the place, 
for the purpose of making further discoveries. After some 
experiments, lie succeeded in finding the Topaz in great abun- 
dance, intermixed with other stones of inferior value.” 

Whether the Doctor intends to be understood that these 
formed a portion of the precious stones that David had laid 
up to ornament the Temple — for this would answer to the same 
year that he abdicated the throne to Solomon — we can not 
surmise, nor can we say through what channel he acquires a 
knowledge of this old Masonic tradition but, if we credit 
the story, and this was the first discovery of the Topaz, then it 
proves that the breast-plate of the High Priest, spoken of in 
the Bible and by Josephus, was not used until after the build- 
ing of the Temple, or within four years of its commencement, 
for the second stone in the breast-plate was a Topaz, which 
was said to refer to Simeon. There is one remarkable feature 
il the writings of Dr. Oliver, viz., a propensity or habit of 
taking the surmises of his predecessors, and adopting them as 
the result of his judgment, formed from investigation ; and very 
often he uses almost the precise language of another historian, 
without giving that author the credit. For example, the 
following extract from Anderson’s Constitutions , in a note 
will be found, in substance, stated on page 339 of Oliver’s Anti 
quities , not as an idle tradition, but as historically true : 



“ The tradition is, that King Hiram had been Grand Master 
of all Masons ; but when the Temple was finished, Hiram came 
to survey it, before its consecration and to commune with 
Solomon about wisdom and art ; and finding the Great Archi- 
tect of the Universe had inspired Solomon above all mortal 
men, Hiram yery readily yielded the preeminence to Solomon 
Jedidiah, the beloved of God.” 

The reader will at once see, we mean the Mason, the fallacy 
of this so called tradition, when he remembers that all our 
traditions taught in the Lodges represent King Solomon as the 
first Grand Master. Indeed, any other view of this subject 
would produce the most perfect confusion in the Craft, by 
making the entire traditions an absurdity, or a tissue of non- 
sense. The doctrine of the divine origin of Masonry would 
be thrown to the winds, unless, indeed, we should be so credu- 
lous as to fall into the views of Dr. Oliver, and say, that God 
taught Freemasonry to Adam in the Garden of Eden. Dr. 
Anderson, though he styles the story a tradition, evidently 
does not regard it as coming through an authenticated channel, 
or he would have recorded it as true ; but Dr. Oliver, who, we 
suppose, gets it from some one of the editions of Anderson, 
gives it as Masonically or historically true. When Doctors 
differ, how are the unlearned to learn? The truth is, we do 
not wonder that some of the oldest and best informed Masons 
of the present day, entertain doubts about the good resulting 
from writing so much about Masonry, for it is a melancholy 
fact that most of the authors tend to lead us deeper and deeper 
into the mazes of conjecture, doubt, and difficulty. For the 
cure of this evil we know of but one plan, and the day may 
come when it will be adopted, viz., require every man who 
writes a book for sale, purporting to give the history of Ma- 
sonry, to exhibit the work and lectures, and prove, thereby, 
that his history agrees with the well-defined traditions, as 
taught in them ; then, and not till then, will the young Mason 
be able to lay hold of a work upon which he may safely rely 
for correct information. For the present, we can only recom- 
mend him to acquire a knowledge of the lectures, and, iu 
reading history, to reject all which docs not conform to the 



traditions taught in the Lodges ; for it will be found that they, 
when properly understood, are inconsistent with no principle 
of common sense, but constitute, as a whole, a beautiful illustra- 
tion of the Catholic, or universal religion, as taught in the lives 
of the Apostles and Prophets. 

King Solomon did not send his workmen away after the 
completion of the Temple, but employed the Craft in carrying 
on his other works. He built two palaces at Jerusalem for 
himself and Queen ; the hall of judicature, with an ivory 
throne and golden lions ; and Millo, or the Royal Exchange. 
This was constructed by filling up the gulf between Mount 
Moriah and Mount Zion ; strong arches were thrown over, 
upon which many beautiful piazzas were erected, with lofty 
colonnading on either side, and between the columns was a 
spacious walk from Zion Castle to the Temple. He also built 
the House of the Forest of Lebanon, upon four rows of cedar 
pillars. This was his summer-house, or place of retreat from 
the cares and toils of his administration. It was furnished 
with a watch-tower overlooking the road to Damascus. Sol- 
omon built several cities between Jerusalem and Lebanon, 
many store-houses West of the Jordan, and several towns or 
cities East of that river, to furnish a safe deposit and carry on 
commercial trade ; and, last of all, he erected that famous city, 
called by him Tadmor. This was situated in the desert 
toward Syria, in the direction to Babylon. It was one day’s 
journey from the river Euphrates and six from Babylon ; this 
city had a lofty palace in it. In after times, this city was 
called by the Greeks, Palmyra of the Desert. 

We are informed by travelers, that the ruins of this once 
mighty city are yet to be seen. How the heart of the good and 
true Mason — the lover of ancient lore — must beat on behclding 
the mighty pillars, the royal arches, and other specimens of the 
greatness and grandeur of the reign of Solomon, fallen, broken, 
and dilapidated by the withering blasts of time, and the ruth- 
less hand of hostile invaders ! How must his soul sink within 
him, when he reflects upon the ever fading glory of man, and 
the perishableness of all earthly things ! And yet, if the spirit of 
Freemasonry, the principles of our holy religion, animate hi? 



bosom, with what joy may he look from nature up to nature’s 
God, and behold, in the perspective, a mighty city, a glorious 
habitation, spoke into being by the fiat of Him who builds for 
eternity! Aye, though we grope in thick darkness through this 
world of change, and mourn over the wreck of matter and the 
crash of worlds, the fall of kingdoms, principalities, and powers 
the long sleep of our ancestors, and then, in the bitterness oi 
heart, turn away to the new made grave of a father, a mother, 
a sister, a brother, a child, or companion, and give evidence of 
the poignancy of our sorrow, by dropping a tear upon the 
green sod of the cold earth ; oh ! how must that bosom’s pang be 
alleviated, how must his sorrow fade away, or mingle in sweet 
melody with those life-giving words, “ Come ye blessed of My 
Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the founda 

tion of the world.” 


Brethren, we read in vain, we go through the forms of 
initiation in vain, we lecture in vain, if we fail to apply the 
great moral principles of our Order to our walk in life. In 
vain we preserve the Ancient Landmarks of the Craft, if we 
make no effort to live up to their teachings. 


Immediately after the completion of the Temple, Lodge! 
were formed in various parts of the kingdom. Anderson say 
that old Constitutions relate the fact that Solomon annually 
assembled all the Masons in a Grand Lodge at Jerusalem, “ to 
preserve the cement of fraternity, and transmit their affairs to 
the latest posterity.” Just here we are met with a difficulty 
which we do not remember to have seen satisfactorily explained. 
Solomon seems to have been the Father of Masonry, or the 
instrument in God’s hands to establish it. We believe Masonry 
always taught all the morals, all the virtues, that are inculcated 
in the Holy Bible. We have said, elsewhere, that Masonry was 
originally Speculative, as well as Operative ; and though we do 
not believe, with Dr. Oliver, that it ever was the true religion 
we most sincerely think all its teachings were in strict con- 
formity to the principles which that religion teaches. It is 
nothing without the Bible ; our traditions are false if the 
ground-work of Masonry is not laid in the Bible ; and though 
we may be compelled to admit that it has since been mad 0 
subservient to other religions, and dance attendance to other 
gods, its tenets ever have, and ever will, point to the God of 
Moses, and to that religion which was pointed out, or promised 
to the seed of Abraham — and hence we find it difficult to 
reconcile the early life of Solomon with the great principles 
and tenets of the Order. It does seem strange, that one 
endowed with superior wisdom should, by means of that 
wisaom, bring a set of principles into practice, bring all its 
recipients under obligations to live in conformity thereto, and 
yet be the first to depart from them ; yea, it would seem that, 
at the very period when he was most engaged in disseminating 
the truths of Masonry, he was setting at naught the verj 



doctrine which gave it power over all other institutions to do 
good ; for while it taught the power, and might, and majesty, of 
the one only living and true God, Solomon was worshiping 
the various gods of his concubines. But this is not more 
remarkable than that God should choose him as the instrument 
to build His holy Temple, who so soon departed from the tru* 
worship ; but how beautifully is the immaculate wisdom of our 
heavenly Father displayed in the life and character of Solomon, 
endowed, as he was, with wisdom such as man never had, and 
with riches, and honors, and pleasures, to the overflowing, and 
permitted to enjoy them all to the full extent, yet at last be con 
strained to cry out:“ All is vanity without the fear of God and 
the keeping of His commands, which is the whole duty of man.’’ 
How strikingly illustrative of the phantoms after which man 
continues to run, through this short but eventful life ; and how, 
like Solomon, do we all fail to find the haven of rest, and peace, 
and happiness, here below. Three years only was Solomon 
truly wise, and these were his last. He died A.M. 3029, in 
the fifty-eighth year of his age. 

Even before the death of Solomon, many of those who 
received their instructions from him, and were, therefore, 
called Solomon’s workmen ; traveled into foreign countries 
in search of employment, delighted with an opportunity to 
disseminate the benign and holy principles of Masonry. We 
hear of them in Syria, Asia, Mesopotamia, and Scythia. We 
read of them in Assyria, Chaldea, Media, Bactria, India, Persia, 
Arabia, and Egypt, and also in many parts of Europe. It may 
seem singular that we have no historical account of their 
traveling into Greece or Italy, which can only be accounted for 
by supposing that the Greeks considered themselves sufficientl) 
advanced in a knowledge of architecture, to do without the 
assistance of Solomon’s builders, or the loss of an account of 
their work in this country has been the result of oversight. 

But the tradition is, that they traveled to Hercules’ pillars 
on the West, and China on theEast ; and the old Constitutions 
affirm that one called Ninus, who had been at the building of 
Solomon’s Temple, brought the refined knowledge of the 
science and the art into Germany and Gaul. 



If this tradition be true, it seems to us probable that Greece 
generally was supplied with Solomon’s Masons, and especially 
when we remember the great, the unlimited fame of the Temple, 
and the accomplishments of the workmen, we can not suppose 
the Greeks would suffer the surrounding nations to surpass 
them in architectural embellishments. We ask the reader to 
bear in mind the opinion which we have given in relation to 
the manner of accepting an Entered Apprentice, as we shall 
soon see that the character which was given by Solomon to the 
workmen, continued to operate advantageously to them and 
their successors. Thus, we see that soon after the Masons 
commenced traveling, so highly were they esteemed that, in 
many places, they acquired privileges and immunities granted to 
no other people ; they were called Freemasons, because they 
taught the art only to the freeborn. They built Lodges or 
rooms, in which they lived, in the vicinity of any building they 
undertook to erect : and by their proximity to the great and 
wealthy, who employed them, the moral principles taught, and 
so rigidly lived up to, attracted general notice, which, together 
with their superior knowledge of the arts and sciences, soon 
influenced men of the greatest wealth and of the highest order 
of talents to solicit and obtain association with them ; and, if 
we are to believe the manmscnpts brought forward in 1718, 
kings, princes, and potentates socn after became Grand Masters, 
each in his own dominion ; and this is the more likely, as 
Solomon, the wisest King, had set the example. 

It is probable that Solomon endeavored to unite the world 
.in the strong bonds @f love, and encourage the study of the 
sciences, by a Omitting aki those sages and learned persons who 
visited him, to see b.o 'Temple and learn of his wisdom, into the 
mysteries of Mason and in this manner was a knowledge of 
the art so soon carried to all parts of the world, and hence 
kings and princes became Grand Masters, or patrons of Free- 
masons in fneij respective countries. 

In the year A.M. 3034, Solomon’s dominions were divided 
into Israel and Judah, but such was the influence of moral 
worth, that Solomon’s Masons, or, as they were called after his 
death Solomon’s travelers, found favor in the eyes of all good 



men, and; moreover, their skill in architecture and the arts and 
sciences were acknowledged to be superior to all others, and 
hence the division of empires and the wars of nations did not 
seriously affect them. About the period mentioned above, 
Jeroboam employed them to build him two palaces, one at 
Sichem, and the other at Penuel. They also erected for him 
two curious statues of the golden calf, with Temples for its 
worship ; one was erected in Bethel, and the other in Dan, and 
to these the Israelites repaired to worship until they were 
carried away by Salmanesar. Soon after, King Baasha 
employed Solomon's travelers to build Tirzah, and King Omri 
built Samaria for his capital, at which place his son, King Ahab, 
afterward erected a large and sumptuous Temple for his idol 
Baal. He also built a palace of ivory, besides many castles 
and cities. The Temple of Baal stood, a monument of the skill 
of the builders and the folly of the founder, until it was destroyed 
by Jehu. 

The royal descendants of King Solomon continued to fill the 
throne and patronize the noble art of Freemasonry, either 
directly or through the High Priest, until the reign of Josiah, 
the last good King of Judah. 

With no people did Solomon's Masons seem to exercise a 
greater and more beneficial influence than the Gentiles. The 
Syrians built a lofty Temple, and a royal palace at Damascus. 
Many beautiful structures were reared at Sardis, in Lydia, at 
Ephesus, and other cities on the coast. 

About thirty-five years after the death of Solomon, the 
Temple of Diana, built by some Japhetites, in the days of Moses 
was burned down, and the kings of Lesser Asia rebuilt and 
ornamented it with one hundred and twenty-six columns of 
the best marble, each sixty feet high ; but this mighty edifice 
was not finished until the seventh year of the reign of Hezckiah. 
King of Judah, about two hundred and twenty years after its 
commencement, and in the year, A.M. 3283. This Temple was 
four hundred and twenty-four feet lone:, two hundred and 

J o’ 

twenty feet wide, and constructed by the Ionic order. It was 
-egarded by all as preeminently magnificent, and hence became 
the third of the seven wonders of the world. Even Xerxes. 



who waged war against image worship, and destroyed nearly 
everything connected with it, spared this Temple in his passage 
to Egypt, and it remained a monument to the Mason’s art, until 
it was burned down by an obscure and infamous individual, for 
the sole purpose of notoriety. It was afterward rebuilt by 
Democrates, the architect, at the expense of the neighboring 

In the twelfth year of Jotham, King of Judah, A.M. 3256, 
Sardanapalus was besieged by his brother Tiglath Pul Eser and 
Nabonassar, until, in despair, he burned himself and concubines, 
and all his treasure in the old Palace of Nimrod, when the 
Assyrian Empire was divided between Tiglath Pul Eser and 
Nabonassar. This Nabonassar, we are told, erected a city near 
the old Tower of Babel, in the year A.M. 3257, and called it 
Babylon. In the days of this Prince, who ruled over Chaldea, 
much attention was given to the study of astronomy, and so 
great was the advancement made in the science, that after 
generations styled this the astronomical era. In one of the 
degrees of Masonry, we have a tradition that after Noah safely 
landed on Mount Ararat, and offered up sacrifice to God on an 
altar which he erected, that he turned his attention to the 
cultivation of the earth, for one hundred years ; when, his 
posterity becoming numerous, he ordered them to disperse them- 
selves and take possession of the earth, according to the parti- 
tion which he made ; that they traveled a westwardly course, 
until they came to the plains of Shinar, when they counseled 
together, and, fearing the consequences of a separation, and 
being desirous to establish for themselves a name, gathered 
themselves together in great multitudes, and built the city of 
Babylon and the Tower of Babel. 

Now, if this be true, there must have been a city there before 
the time of Nimrod. In short, Babylon is the first city of 
which our traditions give an account after the Flood ; but the 
reader will bear in mind that this tradition is not attached to 
either of the Ancient Craft Degrees, and, therefore, is not 
entitled to implicit belief, and the less so, because the city of 
Babylon is not spoken of by any author, if we are not 
mistaken, until the days of Isaiah, the prophet. By a reiorence 


to Isaiah xiii. 39, and chapter xlvii., it will be seen that he 
described the inhabitants of the city, and foretold its destruc- 
tion. It is true, he does not, we think, inform us when it was 
built, but, from the language used, we should infer it had bee» 
the pride of the Chaldeans for at least a century ; and yet, if 
this Nabonassar was the Baladan spoken of in the Bible — and 
some authors think so- he could not have built the city, for 
Baladan is spoken of by Isaiah as being King of Babylon at 
the time he foretold its destruction. 

We will not undertake to trace Masonry into every country, 
and point out the various cities that were built or adorned by 
Solomon’s travelers, but will be content to look at some of the 
more prominent places. 

Masonry not only flourished in Eastern Asia, but it took a 
western direction also. Boristhenes, in Pontus, was built 
about the period of which we are writing. Prusias and Cnal- 
cedon, in Bithynia, Constantinople (then called Bizantium), and 
Lampsacus, in the Hellespont. The travelers also penetrated 
into Borne, Bavenna, Florence, and many others in Italy ; 
Granada, and Malaga, and others in Spain ; and also on the 
coast of Gaul While these banded brethren were engaged in 
improving and ornamenting Damascus, they erected a public 
altar of such curious outlines and richness of finish as to com- 
pletely captivate Aliaz, King of Judah, who ordered a pattern 
to be taken and sent to Uriah, the High Priest of Jerusalem, 
who had one built in imitation, and set it up in the Temple, in 
ieu of the old one. 

In A.M. 3394, Josiah, King of Judah, was slain in battle by 
D haraoh Necho, from which may be dated the commencement 
of heavy misfortunes to Jerusalem, and, indeed, all Judah ; for, 
soon after the fall of Josiah, Nebuchadnezzar made Jehoiakim 
.'who succeeded his father Josiah) his vassal, and, for his 
revolting, was ruined. Nor did the ambitious views of Nebu- 
chadnezzar stop here. He captured all the royal family, and 
the flower of the nobles of Judah, making prisoners of the best 
Craftsmen, laid waste Israel, overrun and destroyed every 
/estige of the arts and sciences, demolished or burned every 
diing that appertained to the one only living and true God, 



and at last glutted his vengeance in beholding the ruins of the 
masterpiece of architecture — the inimitable, the glorious Temple 
of Solomon. Nebuzaradan, Nebuchadnezzar’s Captain of the 
Guards, entered Jerusalem on the seventh day of the tifth 
month, four hundred and sixteen years after the completion of 
the Temple, took out all the sacred vessels, removed the two 
famous pillars, robbed the city and the King’s Palace of ail the' 
•iches they contained, and then, by order of his master, on the 
tenth day of the month, set fire to the Temple and city, over- 
threw the walls of the Towers, in short, made the whole a 
icene of desolation. This occurred, according to our computa- 
ion, 588 years B.C., or A.M. 3416, though we believe it is 
generally recorded four years earlier. The remnant of the 
lews, whom Nebuchadnezzar carried away captive into Baby- 
lon, included very many of those noble-hearted Giblemites, who 
lescended from the builders of Solomon’s Temple ; and Masonic 
tradition informs us that they continued to hold secretly their 
Lodge meetings, and, in this way, taught their children the 
secrets of Freemasonry and the principles of the revealed 
religion of their fathers ; for it will oe remembered that, 
previous to the fall of Jerusalem, the power and authority to 
transcribe the law was confined to the Scribes, and hence but 
a small portion of the people were in possession of a copy, 
every copy found being destroyed by the infidel invader. The 
captive Jews, therefore, could only perpetuate their rehV'm by 
teaching it to their children from memory. they J-rd Masonry. 
All the captive Masons were compelled, for the space of fifty- 
iwo years, to devote their time, labor, and skill in finiA’ng and 
ornamenting the buildings which the King of Babylon and his 
predecessor had commenced, as also the erection of new ones. 
Tn this way, the Chaldean masons, who wrought 'witn the 
captive Jews, perfected themselves in architecture, for the 
specimens of their joint labor made Babylon the fourth cf the 
seven wonders of art, and the boasted mistress of the world. 
The most remarkable structures were the walls of the ity, the 
Temple of Belus, the King’s Palace, and the hanging gardens 
The Temple of Belus was ornamented with those fair us pillars, 
taken from the Temple at Jerusalem, and alsc the 3razfe Aj Skfv. 



.f what we read of the wonders of Babylon be true, the 
magnificence and extent of the works surpassed all others ; and 
yet, for beauty of proportions and elegance of finish, nothing 
compared with the Temple of Solomon ; nor did the wall which 
surrounded the city equal in extent the famous Wall of China. 
Nebuchadnezzar also erected, in the plains of Dura, a golden 
image of his idol god, Baal. This immense work of folly wa3 
sixty cubits high and six broad, and, according to Diodorus, 
contained upward of seven thousand drachms of pure gold, 
amounting in value to upward of fifteen millions of dollars. 

Thus labored and toiled the true descendants of the twelve 
tribes of Israel, borne down with oppression and slavery, and 
denied the privilege (dear to the heart of every Jew) of wor 
shiping the God of their fathers ; but their long sufferings 
were destined to result in good ; for the very opposite effect to 
that sought by Nebuchadnezzar was the result of their long 
and painful captivity, for when the proclamation of Cyrus was 
issued for the liberation of the Israelites, according to the word 
of God, these architects were the better prepared to return to 
the land they so much loved, and lay the foundation for the 
rebuilding of the Temple and the city of Salem. Cyrus ascend- 
ed the throne immediately after Belshazzar was slain, A.M. 
3468, and removed his imperial residence to Persia, and thus 
put an end to the Babylonish Empire, which had stood more 
than two hundred years. About one hundred and seventy 
years before the period just mentioned, the tribes became 
famous for their skill in architecture ; for, under the reign of 
Dioces, they enlarged, beautified, and adorned Echbatana so 
wonderfully, as to command the admiration of all Greece, and 
although neither this city nor Persepolis were to be compared 
with the Temple, and other works of Solomon, the Greeks 
contended that Dioces was the founder of the Fraternity of 

Dr. Anderson contends that Cyrus appointed Zerubbabel, 
the son of Shealtiel, his Provincial Grand Master in Judah, 
with the High Priest Jeshuah, his Deputy. That Cyrus was 
Grand Master of Masons, even in his own country, our tradi- 
tion does not inform us ; but whether he was or not is of little 



consequence to this history, for the Bible and Josephus inform 
us that he was a friend to the Jews, and commissioned Zerub 
babel to take charge of those who were liberated, and ordered 
the King’s treasurer, Mithredath, to deliver into his hands all 
the silver and gold vessels that Nebuchadnezzar had brought 
from Jerusalem, amounting to fifty -four thousand ; these Zerub- 
babel carried to Jerusalem, and the remainder were after- 
ward, viz., in the reign of Artaxerxes Sangimanus, carried 
back by Ezra. Dr. Anderson does not mention Haggai as 
having any thing to do with the rebuilding of the Temple, and 
yet our traditions attribute to him the important part of 
constituting one of the Grand Council, that met and deliberat- 
ed upon the best method of commencing and carrying on 
the work. 

We have stated elsewhere,* that it was determined in this 
Grand Council, for reasons known only to Masons, that none 
but the true descendants of the twelve tribes of Israel, should 
participate in this glorious undertaking. One reason of this 
decree, aside from that to which we allude is, in our estimation, 
of the highest importance, viz., if God had erected the first 
Temple, through the instrumentality of that people whom he 
had chosen to be peculiarly His— if Masonry were instituted by 
divine command, as the handmaid and co-worker with the true 
religion, it is but reasonable to suppose He would not suffer 
Idolaters to take part in the second, though He did not intend 
the great Shekinah should dwell therein.! But, as we shall 
have occasion to consider this branch of our subject more at 
large when we come to treat of the higher degrees, we proceed 
now to continue our chain of Masonic events. 

* Masonic Address, delivered in Fayette, Mo., June 24, 1843. 
f Yet, now, be strong, 0 Zerubbabel, saith the Lord ; and be strong, O 
Joshua, son of Josedeck, the High Priest ; and be strong all ye people of the 
land, saith the Lord, and work, for I am with you, saith the Lord of Ho 0 t& — 
Haggai ii. 4 


The J 3ws were liberated from Babylonish captivity, B.C. 
536. See Ezra i. 2., Isaiah xliv. 28., from which it will be 
seen, that if the seventy years of captivity foretold by Jeremiah 
were completed in the first year of the reign of Cyrus, King 
of Persia, that captivity must have commenced twenty-eight 
years before the destruction of Solomon’s Temple and the city 
of Jerusalem, as from this period to the reign of Cyrus was 
only fifty-two years. If we examine carefully the history of 
events, we shall find no difficulty in supposing that the captivity 
of the Jews commenced at that period, when Nebuchadnezzar, 
the Great reigned in conjunction with his father • for the 
Bible informs us that he reigned forty-three years alone, and 
one year and ten months with his father. In the first year of 
the reign of Cyrus, he issued the following proclamation : 

‘‘ Thus sayeth Cyrus, King of Persia, the Lord God of 
heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and hath 
charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in 
Judah,” etc., etc. 

This proclamation was issued twenty-six years after the death 
of Nebuchadnezzar. By reference to the thirty-second chapter 
of Jeremiah, we are authorized to believe that the captivity of 
the Jews commenced before the destruction of Jerusalem, 
.h'remiah was himself made a captive two years before, viz., 
B.C. 590. Furthermore, we know that Jehoiakim, who was 
placed on the throne by Pharaoh, was dethroned, bound in 
fetters and imprisoned by Nebuchadnezzar. This Jehoiakim 
was placed on the throne B.C. 601 years, and reigned eleven 
years ; so that his captivity was eleven years before the 
destruction of Jerusalem, which, if added to the fifty- two, 
accounts for sixty- three of the seventy years of prophecy ! And 



that these years may be computed is to be inferred from the fact, 
that at the same time Jehoiakim was dethroned, vessels of the 
house of the Lord were taken and carried to Babylon ; and we 
have every reasoi. to believe, that many of the Jews were made 
captives at the same time. See Chron. xxxvi. 6, 7. 

We have been thus particular in giving our views of this 
subject, because in one of the degrees of Masonry, this portion of 
Biblical history is, as we think, generally given improperly, and 
is calculated to produce an injurious effect. We allude to the 
number of years these Masons were in captivity, who, under 
frhe proclamation of Cyrus, returned to rebuild the Temple. 
The history, generally given by Masons is, that they were 
seventy years servants to Nebuchadnezzar and his successors, 
after the destruction of tho Temple, and the intelligent inquirer 
after truth will likely ask if Masons, in these days, were not 
made until they were twenty-one }^ears old ; then, the three 
distinguished individuals, spoken of in the Royal Arch Degree, 
must have been at least ninety-one years old when they returned, 
which, when taken in connection with the active and important 
part performed by them after their return, does not seem 
reasonable. Now, we think they were in captivity only fifty- 
two years, and may have been Masons before they left Jerusa- 
lem, and be only ceventy-three years old when they returned 
But it is not necessary to <ae consistency of the tradition that 
they should have been Masons before their captivity ; for our 
traditions represent that the captive Jews continued secretly 
to hold Lodges in Babylon, and the worthy individuals to 
whom we refer may have been present, in their youth, at the 
destruction of the Temple, and afterward became Masons ip 
Babylon ; but, as we before intimated, there are no good reasons 
to doubt their having taken the degrees before they left tl ? 
native land. 

As long as Cyrus reigned, the Jews were protected in theii 
much loved efforts to rebuild the Temple, but his successor 
Cambyses, being engaged in an effort to conquer Egypt, foi 
this people had revolted, neglected or disregarded the workmen 
on the Temple. Some writers regard Amasys, the last ot 
Mitzraim’s race, as acting Grand Master, in Egypt, when this 



revolt took place ; certain it is, that he was held in high esti- 
mation by the Craft ; for, as a manifestation of their high 
regard, they cut from a solid stone, a house twenty-one cubits 
long, twelve broad, and eight deep, and brought it to Memphis 
a present to him. More than two thousand Masons were en- 
gaged upon this work for three years. Amasys had done much 
for the science of Masonry, he contributed largely to the 
building of the Temple of Apollo, at Delphi, in Greece, but at 
(he very moment when this good man was building up and 
beai.tifving various cities. Cambyses was preparing to pull them 
down, by marching an army into Egypt, and destroying 
emples, palaces, and other monuments of Masonic aD 
Amasys did not live to witness this havoc, he died about the 
time Cambyses reached Egypt, and Cambyses died on his 
return, A.M. 3482. 

Upon the death of Cambyses, Smerdis, the Magian, assumed 
the name of Artaxerxes, and usurped the throne, who, being a 
wicked and corrupt man, was soon made the instrument, in 
the hands of the infidel and barbarous nations, to arrest the 
building of the Temple. They sent to him a memorial, charg- 
ing that the Jews had ever been a rebellious people, against 
the authority of kings, and warning him that if they were 
suffered to rebuild the Temple and city, and congregate as 
formerly in large numbers, no king would be safe on his throne. 
To which he sent back a reply that he had had the old records 
examined, and found truly that the Jews had ever been enemies 
to kings, and, therefore, ordered that they be required to desist, 
from building the Temple and city. This edict was not con- 
veyed to them in the usual way, but, it being in possession of 
their enemies, they hastily assembled an armed force, marched 
against the workmen and compelled them to disperse. 

The false Smerdis was, however, soon dethroned, and suc- 
ceeded by Darius, B.C. 520. Although this Prince is repre- 
sented by Masonic tradition as knowing nothing of the 
mysteries of Masonry, the memory of no man of his day is held 
in higher estimation by the Fraternity. Our traditions inform 
us that Zerubbabel made heavy personal sacrifices, and travers- 
ed the Persian dominions for no other purpose than to procur 



an interview witli Darius, and, by reminding him of his early 
vows in favor of the Jews, endeavor to win his favor and 
protection in the great work of rebuilding the Temple and 
city. The King having heard of the fame of Zerubbabel, as a 
wise and accomplished Freemason, and being favorably im- 
pressed with the value of the Institution, demanded to know 
what the secrets were, and promised in return to raise 
Zerubbabel to one of the highest offices in his gift. The reply 
which Zerubbabel made was of such a character as to convince 
the King, not only of the great worth and importance of Free- 
masonry, but of the manifest impropriety of his request 
whereupon, the King declared his determination, not only to 
protect the workmen until the Temple and city were completed, 
but made proclamation encouraging his loyal subjects to give 
gifts, and do all in their power to assist the Jews in their much 
loved enterprise. He also made large contributions from his 
own treasury to aid in carrying on the work ; and in the sixth 
year of his reign, Zerubbabel finished the Temple, and celebrat- 
ed the cape-stone twenty years after he had laid the foundation 

Thus was that scripture fulfilled which declared that Zerub- 
babel should lay the foundation, and his hands should finish it. 
The consecration or dedication took place the next year, viz., 

B.C. 515. 

The Sidonians were equally as liberal in furnishing timbers 
for this as they had been in the days of Hiram, for the first 
Temple. We are informed that they prepared timbers in the 
forests of Lebanon, and, as formerly, conveyed them on floats to 
Joppa. An order to this effect had been issued by Cyrus, which 
they cheerfully obeyed, as also when it was renewed by Darius. 

During the reign of Darius, a new sect of religionists sprung 
up, under their great leader, Zoroaster. This sect were called 
Magians, and Zoroaster was styled their Grand Master, and 
hence they have been regarded by some as a Society of Free- 
masons, with how much truth we can not say. We suppose, 
however, that Masonry then, as now, was anti-sectarian, and 
that Masons were to be found in all religious societies, 
Zcr**asJcr was certainly a jearned man, and encouraged the 



study of the liberal arts and sciences, for his followers became 
celebrated everywhere, for their learning and knowledge, 
especially of geometry. The Greeks styled Zoroaster the 
teacher of all human and divine knowledge. This sect wor- 
shiped the sun, and were engaged in building fire temples, 
mostly in Eastern Asia, where they flourished until the days of 

About 460 years B.C., Ahasueras married Queen Esther, 
who was regarded the greatest beauty of the day, and an 
accomplished Jewess. Under this reign Ezra was chosen head 
of the Craft. He built many synagogues in Judea. Nehemiah 
succeeded him, B.C. 455, who built the strong walls of Jerusa- 
lem. This work was prosecuted while the workmen were 
compelled to stand guard against their enemies. 

The history of the Craft in that portion of the world of 
which we have been speaking, presents nothing of striking 
interest for a long period of time. We call attention to Lesser 
Asia, B.C. 868, in order to show the state of Masonry and a 
remarkable evidence of the customs regulating marriages. In 
this year Mausolus, King of Cana, died ; and though his reign 
was not marked by any notable deeds, his death was rendered 
famous by Artemisia, who was his sister and wife , who deeply 
bewailed his loss, and erected to his memory that famous 
monument at Halicarnassus, which was regarded as the fifth of 
the seven wonders of the world. 

This monument presented an exception to the general rule 
of building Masonic edifices, its length being from North to 
South. It was four hundred and ten feet in circumference, one 
hundred and forty-one feet high, and sixty-three cubits long. 
It was surrounded by one hundred and thirty-six columns of 
the most beautiful sculpture. The East and West fronts had 
mammoth arches, seventy-three feet wide, and on die side wall 
was erected a pyramid, terminating in a triangle, upon the top 
of which was constructed a coach and four horses, full size, 
admirably chiseled out of one immense block of pure marble. 
The Masons who had the superintendence of the work were 
Timotheus, Briax, Seopas, and Loocleares. 

Wo new turn our attention to Greece, where, as nefoid 



intimated, we are involved in doubt and difficulty as to the 
time the royal art commenced flourishing. Some authors contend 
that it flourished there, as in other countries, shortly after the 
building of the first Temple, while others equally entitled to 
credit, fix the time at, or near, the completion of the second. 
We adopt the former opinion, for the reason that the evidences 
of a highly cultivated architecture is to be found in the ruins 
it Lemnos, Athens, Sicyon, and Candia, and they afford evi- 
dence of having been built before the Trojan war. But we are, 
nevertheless, constrained to admit that the history is so dark 
as to assume the character of fable, until the days of the 
Olympiads, which was B.C. 775, about twenty-nine years before 
the founding of Rome. 

Whether the Temples of Minerva and Apollo, and their 
gymnasiums, were erected at an earlier period or not, they did 
not become famous until after the building of the second Temple, 
at Jerusalem. If any of them were built before the Trojan 
war, they must have been greatly enlarged, beautified, and 
adorned after the time of Zerubbabel. 

The first of whom we have any authentic account, as a 
philosopher or architect, was Milesius, who acquired his 
knowledge in Egypt, and flourished in Greece B.C. 540, only 
some eight or ten years before the proclamation of Cyrus. About 
this time, Pythagoras, who had been a pupil of Milesius, traveled 
into Egypt. Our Masonic tradition represents Pythag jras as 
traveling through Asia, Africa, and Europe, and being 
initiated into several orders of High Priesthood, and raised to 
the sublime degree of Master Mason. We think this tradition 
is not sustained by any respectable history, nor by the life of 
the man. We deem it proper to state here, that our views may 
possibly, be somewhat influenced by our preconceived anc 
expressed opinions. We have frequently said, in delivering the 
lecture on the Master’s degree, that we did not believe Pytha 
goras was a Mason, and we now proceed to an examination of 
the subject from the best lights we have. 

We have no evidence that the travels of Pythagoras were so 
extensive as the traditions represent. He went directly to 
Egypt in A.M. 3457, during the reign of Pisistratus, the 



tyrant of Athens. He lived twenty-two years in Egypt, when 
Cambyses sent him to Babylon and Persia, in 3480, where he 
remained, learning legerdemain, for aught we know, of the 
Chaldean Magians, and picked up scraps of religion from the 
Babylonish Jews, and returned to Greece in 3489. Here he 
became the head of a sect or society, not of Masons, but 
religious fanatics, made up of all other religions, and resembling 
Masonry less, perhaps, than any, except that his followers were 
initiated into his Society with secret forms and ceremonies, but 
so different in their character, as at once to furnish strong 
presumptive testimony that he knew nothing of Masonry. He 
taught that God is a soul, everywhere in nature ; that the souls 
of men are derived from this supreme soul, which is immortal : 
and the principle of all things being unity, he believed that 
between God and man there is an infinite number of spiritual 
agents, ministering from one to another to the great supreme 
soul. He taught the doctrine of metempsychosis, or transmi- 
gration of souls, that even the desires of one animal passed, at 
its death, into another. Pythagoras was the first that assumed 
the name of philosopher, or lover of knowledge, and so exten- 
sive and profound was his knowledge, that he soon became 
celebrated, and thousands sought to be connected with his 
Society ; and the more anxious were they, because he required 
five years severe and inhuman penance before they were 
permitted even to behold the great philosopher, thus producing 
the impression that the discoveries would be not only wonderful 
at initiation, but that temporal and eternal happiness would be 
their inevitable portion. The Pythagoreans lived abstemiously, 
eating no flesh, shunning all pleasures, so called, and held all 
property in common. They forbade the use of oaths, although 
very initiate was bound by the most solemn oath not to reveal 
any of the secrets which he instituted ; and yet, if we take the 
opinion of some authors as authority, he only taught one secret, 
viz., the forty-seventh problem of Euclid. He ascribed all 
tilings to fate or destiny, required his followers to live without 
the use of any drink but water ; but the most remarkable, as 
well a3 the most ridiculous, was the injunction of five yean 
silence before admission into the mysteries. 



That Pythagoras was the greatest man of his day can not 
well be questioned ; indeed, such was the estimation in which 
he was held by those who first wrote his biography, that they 
entertained the belief that he was, like Solomon, endowed with 
superhuman knowledge. He was a devoted student for thirty- 
five years before he undertook to teach his followers in Greece ; 
indeed, before he left for Egypt, his inordinate love of know- 
ledge was apparent to his friends. His knowledge of the arts 
and sciences was so thorough, compared with any others of his 
day, that he must needs leave behind him the character of a 
learned and great man ; but with all we must regard him as 
a religious fanatic ; his doctrines were made up of the shreds 
and patches of all others, and differing from all in the singular 
combination of wisdom and superstition — for while it was wise 
to teach his followers to bridle the tongue, how ridiculous to 
require five years total silence. While his code of morals, 
which taught that true wisdom tended to elevate man to a 
near resemblance to God, seemed the result of a most profound 
knowledge of the divine economy, how weak and groveling 
was that doctrine which taught that, after all the probation and 
penance endured, the soul, though purified, should enter again 
into a struggle with temporal life and earthly corruption, 
either in the bosom of another human being or an inferior 
animal. And so, in reference to all his doctrines ; they were 
a system (if we may be allowed the term) of contradictions 
and inconsistencies. And now we ask our Masonic Brethren, 
in what does any or all the doctrines and teachings of Pytha 
goras resemble Masonry ? Is it in his teaching morality ? 
Some, men in all ages, have taught morality, who were not 
Masons. Is it in his teaching a knowledge of the arts and 
sciences? These, though ever encouraged by Masons, have 
never been confined to them. Is it in his requiring the appli- , 
cants for admission into his Society to do penance five years? 
Masons never required a penance of any sort, nor a longer 
probation than was deemed necessary to know the applicant 
was worthy. Is it his sectarian doctrines of religion? Ma- 
sonry has ever been opposed to sectarian religion, other than 
that which was delivered to the twelve tribes of Israel, upon 


which grand level all good men might meet — a willing 
obedience to God's revealed will and benevolence to all 
mankind, has ever been the groundwork upon which is erect- 
ed the noble structuie of Freemasonry ; and in what does this 
resemble the teachings of Pythagoras? For aught we know, 
he may have been a Mason, but we do know he was not a 
good one. Masonry has ever been opposed to superstition 
fanaticism, and bigotry, and if the doctrines of Pythagoras did 
not abound in these, then have we learned them imperfectly. 
W e are aware that the views we have here advanced are at 
war with the opinions of all, so far as we know, who have 
written of Masonry ; and we have not the vanity to suppose 
they will be lightly adopted, if at all, nor do we care, only so 
far as the truth is concerned. 

TTe promised to give, what we believed to be a true history 
of Masonry, and this we shall do, if God shall give the ability 
without stopping to inquire whether it is likely to be popular 
or unpopular. W e think idle tales of modern invention have 
been dignified with the name of Masonic tradition long enough, 
and if we do no more than to awaken inquiry, and stimulate 
abler hands to separate the true from the counterfeit, we shall 
have accomplished much, very much, for the Fraternity of after 
time, and though our opinions be cast before the winds, if they 
are superseded by those that shall restore our beloved Order 
to its primitive purity, divested of all the gewgaws and 
tinseled trappings of modern innovators, we shall have done 
more than if we had established a new doctrine or a new sect. 
To this end we labor, for this object we shall continue to labor 
if our brethren will stand by and sustain us, until our Supreim 
Grand Master shall close our earthly career, and call us h 
render an account of our stewardship. 


While the doctrines of Pythagoras laid the foundation for 
i plausible system of infidelity, the influence of which may be 
traced through every age down to the present day, his thorough 
knowledge of the arts and sciences, or, we should say, his supe- 
rior knowledge of them, wrought a mighty revolution in 
Gfreece. Geometry and architecture became the passion of the 
age, and, taking man as the model of architecture, the fine arts 
were cultivated with great energy. No man was esteemed an 
accomplished sculptor or painter, unless he was master of 
geometry and architecture. 

The academies of Athens and Sicyon were filled with the 
sons of the wealthy and best born of the land, and a knowledge 
of the arts and sciences became the stepping-stone to power and 
influence. Masonry had ever taken the lead in cultivating and 
storing the mind with useful knowledge, and disseminating the 
principles of ^^rality and virtue ; and now, more than ever, did 
it flourish m Greece, and very soon this nation of people, who 
had long been borrowing a knowledge of architecture from 
Egypt, became the teachers, not only of Egyptians, but the 
whole world. No country on the face of the earth can now boast 
of having had half the number of learned and great men. Greece 
had her Perseus, Philostratus, Appolodorus, Eupompus, Pam 
philus, Artamones, Socrates, and Methrodorus. At this age 
lived Theodorus Cyreneus, the master and teacher of Plato, 
Xenocrates, and Aristotle, who became the teacher of Alexan- 
der the Great. 

At no age of the world did Freemasonry exercise a greater 
influence on the public mind. The sacred principles of the 
Institution found their way into every department of govern- 
ment. The laws were framed for its protection and support. 


It was decreed that no slave should be permitted to study the 
arts and sciences ; only the free-born could become geometri- 
cians or architects ; none but the free-born could gain admis- 
sion into a Lodge of Masons ; and hence some believe this was 
the period when Solomon’s travelers acquired the name of Free- 
masons, and that because the noble, the learned, and wise of 
Greece sought admission into, and were said to be accepted 
by the Masons, that here it was they obtained the name of 
Accepted Masons. 

B.C. 335, Alexander, the Macedonian, gathered together an 
army, and gave Darius Codomanus battle at the Granicus, in 
which Darius was defeated. Alexander was equally successful 
at Issus and Arbela, and, taking possession of Tyre and Gaza, 
soon overrun and conquered all Egypt. Darius fled into 
Bactria, and was there assassinated by one of his own generals. 
The Persian Empire had existed two hundred and seven years, 
and terminated with the death of Darius ; and in Alexander 
began the Grecian Empire, B.C. 334. To recapitulate the 
wanton and unprovoked outrages perpetrated by Alexander, 
would only go to show what an isolated case abundantly 
proves — that he was one of those rare monsters of human 
nature, who was prompted by a sordid selfishness, and a reck- 
less disregard of the means necessary to be used in ministering 
to his base passions. We read of monarchs, in former times, 
who were murderers either for the gratification of mere per- 
sonal revenge, or for the supposed perpetuity of their crowns, 
and we try to regard these events, or deeds of wickedness, as 
only taking place in the dark ages of the world ; but is this 
true ? No age in British history is so renowned for the wisdom 
tf the ministry and the intellectual equanimity of the sovereign, 
as the close of the seventeenth century, and yet Elizabeth 
became a heartless assassin. The truth is, as we think, that 
unlimited power in the hands of the few ever has, and ever 
will beget a spirit of tyranny, and whenever and wherever that 
power is concentrated in a single head, uti trammeled by checks 
and balances of power, that head will likely show forth only 
the baser passions of the human heart. We doubt whether the 
aggregate amount of knowledge and virtue of the present day 



s much greater than in the days of Alexander the G-reat ; hut 
the spirit of freedom which begets a knowledge of personal 
/ights is abroad in the land; and fear, not tvisdom or virtue, 
^strains the wmxed passions of crowned heads. Especially 
-nee the days of the lucky blunderer, Cromwell, have the 
eople been learning that they were not created to be made 
ot-pads for kings ; and as a knowledge of oersonal rights is 
sp ^ad and communicated, a corresponding diminution of the 
urinciples of the one man powder has been the result, until, a? 
o> a miracle, the model Government of the world sprang into 
iieing ; and though the present movements in the old world 
may not, and most likely will not, immediately disenthral the 
nations of the earth from the chains of oppression, the good 
seed has been sown broadcast over the land, and the day is 
rapidly rolling on when the Goddess of Liberty will stand 
upon every hill, and wave the proud banner of freedom over 
the valleys of the earth. 

We have no evidence that Elizabeth was either a tyrant or 
a wicked woman, until power corrupted her heart. We have 
no reason to believe that Alexander was an unprincipled de- 
spoiler, until unlimited power, aided by the wine cup, brought 
forth the beastly passions of poor, corrupt human nature. At 
what period of Alexander’s early life could he have been 
induced to set fire to the city of palaces, the beautiful Per- 
sepolis ? But when corrupted by a knowledge of his unlimited 
sway, and maddened by the inebriating cup, he could, in a mere 
frolic, will to destroy the most splendid specimens of human 
art and ingenuity. And such were the debasing influences of 
tyranny, that willing tools were at hand to execute his behests. 
Even the renowned Democrates, who stood proudly preeminent 
as the most learned and accomplished Mason of the day, could 
so far forget his own dignity as a man, as to pamper the vanity of 
bis vicious Emperor. He it was who proposed to Alexander 
to convert Mount Athos into a statue of himself, with a lake in 
one hand, and a city in the other ; which advice was approved, 
and would have been executed, but for his desire first to build a 
city, to be his seat of power. He commenced building the city 
of Alexandria about the year B.C. 332, which became the 



capital of the kingdom. It is stated in Pliny’s Natural History % 
that Pemocrates first discovered the use of the papyrus. It is 
described as a species of bulrush, growing in the marshes of 
Egypt, especially in the vicinity of the Nile. It grows about 
fifteen feet high ; the stalk is about six inches in diameter, the 
bark of which, or, as some authors say, the leaves were con- 
verted into paper, upon which Democrates drew his designs of 
the city. 

Alexander died, drunk, at Babylon, B.C. 323, and soon after 
his empire was divided between his generals. 

During the reign of Ptolemy Soter, B.C. 304, Euclid, the 
accomplished geometrician of Tyre, visited the Court of 
Ptolemy, who encouraged him to teach the noble science, 
especially to the sons of the lords of the land. 

We find in Anderson’s Constitutions, extracts from the regula 
dons of Euclid, which we believe to be the oldest record of 
Masonry now extant, and which, if true (and we have no 
reason to doubt it), should entitle Euclid to the high station in 
the estimation of the Fraternity which Pythagoras has occupied. 
When Ptolemy granted Euclid a commission to open a school, 
or Fraternity, for teaching the arts and sciences, Anderson 
states that an old Masonic record contains the following : 

“Euclid having received commission, he taught such as were 
committed to his charge the science of geometry, in practice 
to work in stone all manner of worthy work that belongeth 
to building of altars, temples, towers, and castles, and all man- 
ner of buildings, and gave them a charge in this form : 

“ First, That they should be true to their King and the lord 
they serve, and to the fellowship whereof they are admitted • 
and that they should be true to, and love one another ; and that 
they should call each other, Fellow or Brother ; not servant, 
nor knave, nor any other foul name ; and that they should truly 
deserve their pay of their lord, or the master of the work, that 
they serve. 

“ Secondly , That they should ordain the wisest of them to be 
the master of the work, and neither for love nor lineage, 
riches nor favor, to set another that hath but little cunning, to 
be master of the work, whereby the lord shall be evil ierved, 



and they asnamed ; and, also, that they should call the governor 
of the work, Master, in the time that they work with him. 
And many other charges he gave them, that are too long to 
relate ; and to all these charges, says my author, he made them 
swear a great oath, that men used at that time. 

“ And he ordained for them a reasonable pay, whereby they 
might live honestly ; and, also, that they should come and 
assemble together every year once, to consult how they might 
work best, to serve the lord for his profit, and to their own 
credit ; and to correct, within themselves, him that had tres 
passed against the Craft. 

“ And thus was the Craft grounded there ; and that worthy 
clerk, Euclid, gave it the name geometry, which now is called 
Masonry .’ 7 

Some of our friends will remember having heard us question 
the theory of Bro. Cross, and others, who have taught that 
geometry and Masonry were originally synonymous terms, 
will here see proof to the contrary. We are not surprised 
that Masonry has been called by other names in several ages 
of the world. Had the late efforts of the anti-Masons in the 
United States, succeeded in rendering the Institution odious to 
the people, we do not hesitate to say that it would have lived, 
in all its simplicity and purity, under some other name ; but, in 
all its attributes and ends, Freemasonry. So, perhaps, in the 
days of Euclid, Masonry may have been called geometry by 
this eminent scholar ; but the charges just quoted will satisfy 
any well informed Mason that they bear upon their face the 
very impress of our venerated Order, and it is to be deeply 
regretted that the other charges to which the old manuscript 
alludes were not preserved, it is matter of surprise to us 
that Dr. Anderson, when he was compiling or collating the 
Ancient Charges and Constitutions, did not also give us the 
evidences of their antiquity, as presented on the face of the old 
manuscripts. For example, he gives us the Ancient Charges, as 
said to exist from the foundation of the Order, and, as it is not 
pretended that any alterations were ever made in them, they are 
satisfactorily handed down to us ; but not so with the Ancient 
Constitutions. W e are simply told that this is an old Regulation 



and that is anew Regulation ; and although the date of the new 
Regulations can generally be traced, the old ones can not ; and 
whether by the old Regulations the author means those v bich 
were adopted by the Grand Convocation which assembled at 
York, in A.D. 926 or simply refers to an indefinite period 
anterior to the collation, we are not informed. 

“ According to the old Constitutions,” says Anderson, 
Ptolemy, Grand Master, with his Wardens, Euclid and 
Straton, the Philosopher, built his palace at Alexandria, and 
the curious museum or college of the learned, with the library 
of Bruchium, near the palace, that was filled with four hundred 
thousand manuscripts or valuable volumes.” 

This immense library w r as the depository of the greatest 
minds of the day, from the surrounding country, and wao much 
the largest collection of literary and scientific matter the world 
had ever seen ; and no event, from the days of Noah, tended so 
powerfully to bury in the rubbish of oblivion the true history 
of the world, and a knowledge of the arts and sciences, as its 
destruction. It was burnt during the wars of Julius Caesar. 

Ptolemy Soter founded the tower of Pharo, or, as some 
authors call it, the obelisk of Queen Semiramis. Lt was a 
tower twenty-five feet square, and, when completed, w r as one 
hundred and fifty feet high. This pyramid was completed by 
Ptolemy Philadelphus, who succeeded his father. It was so 
constructed, we are told, as to present the image of Queen 
Semiramis, cut from a large stone, with smaller ones represent- 
ing tributary kings. This opinion leads us into some difficulty 
for it is not pretended that there was more than one Queen 
named Semiramis, and she, according to Aristotle, was the 
builder or ornainenter of Babylon and Nineveh. This history 
represents her as not being so ancient, by several centuries, and 
as being Queen to Nabouassar. The tower was built on an 
feland, and w r as intended, as we think, mainly, if not entirely, 
to serve as a lighthouse for the Alexandrian harbor, and when 
completed, was regarded as the sixth wonder of the w r orld. 
Philadelphus founded a number of cities, and rebuilt old Rahab, 
calling it Philadelphia. Ptolemy Philadelphus was evidently 
an eminent architect and encourager of the arts and sciences ; 


1 16 

indeed, so perfect was his style of architecture regarded, that 
for a long period the best and most perfect specimens were 
called Philadelphian. In his reign, or that of his son, another 
library was built near or adjoining the old one. It is said that 
Cleopatra afterward added to this library two hundred thousand 
manuscripts, presented to her by Mark Antony. 

As there is a remarkable similarity in the force of the reasons 
given by the great Emperor for the destruction of this great 
library, and those used by the great Alexander Campbell, of 
the present day, for the downfall of Masonry, Odd Fellowship, 
and Sons of Temperance, we will here give them in full. 

The Belchium, or Alexandrian Library, had often been 
subjected to the depredations of barbarian invaders during the 
revolutions and commotions of the Roman Empire, but it was 
as often repaired and replenished, until Alexandria was taken 
by the Saracens. At the periodof the destruction of the library, 
there lived at Alexandria the famous Aristotelian philosopher, 
Johanes Grammaticus, who was a great favorite of the Saracen 
General, Amrus Ebnol. And he, being a great lover of the arts 
and sciences, requested, as a great favor, to be presented with 
this library, to which the General replied that the Caliph alone 
possessed the power to dispose of it, but that he would write to 
the Emperor and urge his request, which being done, the 
Emperor returned for answer : — “ That if those hooks contained 
what was agreeing with the Alcoran , there was no need of them, j or 
the Alcoran was amply sufficient of itself for all truths ; but if they 
contained anything that disagreed with the Alcoran , they were not 
to he tolerated or endured ; and, therefore, ordered that, whatsoever 
they contained, the whole must he destroyed without drlayT Where- 
upon, they were distributed among the public baths, and served 
as fuel to heat all the baths of Alexandria for six months. 


B. C. 304. When Antigonus was near eighty years old, and 
during his wars with Cyprus, he demanded succor of the 
Rhodeans, to which they sent back for answer a request that 
he could not compel them to take up arms against their friend 
and ally, Ptolemy. This reply so offended Antigonus, that he 
sent against them his son Demetrius, with a fleet of two hundred 
ships of war, one hundred transports, with forty thousand men, 
lccompanied with about one thousand small vessels with pro- 
Tisions, etc. Rhodes was known to be a city of great wealth, and 
r he soldiers under Demetrius expected rich booty. Demetrius was 
one of the most learned and scientific men of his day, as well as 
a brave and accomplished officer, and carried with him great 
numbers of those vast machines, then in use, for throwing arrows 
and battering down walls. The Rhodeans had, after sending 
awav useless citizens, but about six thousand Rhodeans and one 
thousand strangers, together with a few slaves, to defend the 
city ; but, at that period, the city held many eminent architects, 
and all were called upon to exert their best skill, and fight for 
their homes ; and, notwithstanding the many scientific plans of 
assault resorted to by Demetrius, the Rhodeans were successful 
m counteracting them, till, after a siege of twelve months, 
Demetrius was willing to make an amicable adjustment and 
rompromise of their difficulties ; and, in order to leave behind 
an evidence of his high regard for their science and bravery, he 
made them a present of all the machines of war which he had 
employed against them. As an evidence of the high estimation 
in which the arts and sciences were held by this distinguished 
chief, we will here relate, upon the authority of Pliny and 
Vitruvius, that at that time there was living in Rhodes a cele- 
brated painter, named Protogenes. The rooms he occupied 



were situated outside of the city, and, consequently, exposed to 
the violence of the soldiers of Demetrius ; but, as though noth 
ing could disturb his mind, or draw it from the pursuit of his 
profession, he continued his labors, unmoved by the noise of 
war ; and on being asked by Demetrius for an explanation of 
his conduct, replied : “ Because I am sensible you have declared 
war against the Rhodeans, and not against the sciences. ’ 
Whereupon, Demetrius ordered a guard to preserve him 

This artist’s masterpiece was the Inlysees, a historical picture 
of a heathen god, or hero, said by the Rhodeans to be the 
founder of that city. Pliny thinks that this painting was the 
cause of Demetrius’ raising the siege, as he states it hung in 
that quarter of the city where alone it was possible for a 
successful assault to be made, and that sooner than expose so 
fine a specimen of art to destruction, Demetrius abandoned his 
enterprise ; but this historian is not sustained in this opinion 
by those who wrote about the same time, and the idea is ridi- 
culed by Rollin and others. 

We have said thus much about Rhodes, at the period referred 
to, for the purpose of showing somewhat of the history of the 
last of the seven wonders of art. The Rhodeans sold the 
machines which had been given to them by Demetrius, for three 
hundred talents, upward of three hundred thousand dollars, 
with which, together with a sufficient sum raised from other 
sources, they built the great Colossus across the mouth of the 
harbor. Charles of Lindus, a celebrated Mason and architect, 
Was employed by the city to perform this stupendous work, 
which occupied him and all his craftsmen twelve years. It 
was built of brass ; and when we remember its hight — 
seventy cubits, or one hundred and five feet — and that its 
form — that of a man — was perfect in all its parts, we may form 
some estimate of this vast human statue. Contemplate a 
human figure, with one foot on either shore, and a natural 
stride sufficiently wide to allow the largest ships, under sail, to 
pass between its legs. This mighty Colossus stood only sixty- 
six years, when it was thrown down by an earthquake, BX. 
236. Wo have no accurate account of the amount of materials 



employed in its building ; but a tolerably correct estimate may 
be drawn, when we consider that it remained prostrate until 
A.D <:72. about eight hundred and ninety-four years, subject to 
the waste of time and the purloining of men, and then weighed 
over eight hundred thousand pounds. The sixth Caliph of the 
Saracens, having taken Rhodes in the year above named, sold 
the brass to a Jew merchant, who loaded nine hundred camels 
with it, and it is fair to suppose each camel carried nine hun 
dred pounds. 

We are at a loss to determine what great purpose this great 
statue, much the largest in the world, was designed to answer. 
We know this people worshiped the sun, and that the statue 
was dedicated accordingly ; but we can find nothing in their 
religion which would suggest the idea of such a statue, and it 
was certainly not so constructed as to afford a place of worship. 
*f left to our conjecture, we should be inclined to say that it 
was intended for the two-fold purpose of serving as a fit place 
for a beacon-light to approaching vessels, and to excite the 
wonder and admiration of the world ; though, at the present 
day, we should be inclined to regard it as a specimen of their 
folly. Certain it is, whatever may have been the design of tho 
Rhodeans, it did not long answer the end for which it was 
designed ; for, like the Tower of Babel, the vengeance of 
Heaven was poured out against it. 

The city of Carthage, so renowned in ancient history, and to 
which we have already barely referred, was founded by Elisa, 
or Dido, who married a near relative named Ascerbas, who, for 
his wealth, was murdered by Dido’s brother, Pygmalion, King 
of Tyre. She, however, eluded his avarice, by secretly with- 
drawing from the country, carrying with her all her late 
husband’s wealth, and after long wandering, landed on the 
coast of the Mediterranean, near Tunis, and purchasing some 
lands from the inhabitants, settled, with her few followers, about 
fifteen miles from that town, and afterward commenced build- 
ing Carthage — signifying new city. Dido was afterward 
courted by Jarbas, King of Getulia, and threatened with a war 
in case of her refusal to marry him. This Princess having made a 
solemn vow to her husband never to consent to a second marriagf . 



and not being capable of violating that vow, desired time 
to return an answer, when she ordered a pile to be raised, and 
ascending to its top, drew a concealed dagger and plunged it to 
her own heart, thus setting an example of integrity and virtue 
which tended no little to stamp the character of Carthagenians 
for many ages. How many monarchs or presidents of the 
present day would sacrifice their own lives sooner than involve 
their nation in a war ? When we contemplate the growth and 
prosperity of Carthage — the vast power and influence which it 
long exercised, not only over Africa, but her conquests were 
extended into Europe, invaded Sardinia, took nearly all of 
Sicily and Spain, and for six hundred years was mistress of the 
seas — and by her great wealth, intelligence, and bravery, was 
prepared to dispute preeminence with the empires of the world 
— we are struck with the wonderful ways of Providence. Here 
was a mighty nation of people, brought into being and power 
by a single act of a mercenary assassin. For a long period 
before the Romans acquired any fame for architecture, or the 
science of government, the Carthagenians had established wise 
laws, buikt several thousand cities, ornamented with stately 
castles, etc. Their skill in masonry was of that kind which 
tends to show them to have been an intelligent and warlike 
people. Their marble temples, gold statues, splendid palaces, 
good ships, and well constructed forts, point out this people as 
occupying the most prominent position of any in the world ; 
and when we consider that their ships sailed on every known 
sea, carrying on a trade with all the known world, we are not 
surprised that they so long disputed with the Romans the right 
of universal empire. But the envy and ambition of the Romans 
never slept or slumbered ; they had a pretended prophecy — 
* Delenda est Carthago ”* — Carthage must be demolished — which 
after several long and bloody wars was accomplished by Scipio, 
B.C. 150. 

* This was the constantly reiterated expression of Roman Senators, and served 
to keep alive the hostile feelings of the people to the envied fame of Carthage, 
but it is very questionable whether there was even a pretended prophecy in 
those words 



It is not a little curious that a lady, also, figured somewhat 
conspicuously at the fall of Carthage. After the main city 
was given up, Asdrubal, his wife and two children, with nine 
hundred soldiers who had deserted from Scipio, retired to, and 
fortified themselves in, the Temple of Esculapius, and, owing to 
its favorable position, might have held out a long time ; but the 
cowardly Asdrubal came out, and, with an olive branch in his 
hand, threw himself at Scipio’s feet, begging for his life. The 
Temple was then set on fire, when AsdrubaPs wife presented 
herself and two children in view of the army, and addressed 
Scipio in a loud voice : — “ I call not down curses upon thy head, 
0 Roman, because thou only takest the privilege allowed by 
the rules o f war ; but may the gods of Carthage, and those in 
concert witn them, punish, according to his deserts, the false 
wretch who has betrayed his country, his gods, his wife, and 
children ! ” Then turning to Asdrubal she said : — “ Perfidious 
wretch ! thou basest of men, this fire will presently consume 
both me and my children ; but as to the unworthy General of 
Carthage, go, adorn the gay triumph of thy conqueror ; suffer 
in the sight of all Rome the tortures thou so justly deservest.” 
She then seized her children, cut their throats, and threw them 
into the flames, and, with a bound, followed after them. 

The Sicilians, who had descended from the Greeks, earl} 
practiced geometry and architecture at various places, but 
especially at Syracuse ; for when Marcellus brought his Roman 
army against that city, it was twenty-two miles around it, and 
could not, therefore, be subdued by a siege. Nor was Mar 
cellus more successful in storming it, because of the able devices 
of the learned Archimedes, the Master of the Masons of 
Syracuse, whose plans were so skillfully laid, that he was able 
to counteract every movement of the Roman army, and it is 
probable that Marcellus would have utterly failed, but for the 
love the people of the city had for their festive day ; for it was 
while they were occupied with one of these, that a single tower 
was permitted to be imperfectly manned, which the Roman 
general took advantage of, and, making himself master of it 
the city soon fell into his hands. Marcellus gave strict order? 
save Archimedes, but this great architect was so deepU 



engaged in devising means to repel the Romans, that he was 
not aware of the city being in the hands of the enemy, and 
was murdered by a common soldier. Marcellus was a lover 
of the arts and sciences, and deeolv mourned the loss the world 
had sustained in the death of Archimedes, and gave him honor- 
able burial. This occurred B, C. 212. 

We have every reason to believe that Greece, Carthage, and 
Sicily sent out architects and builders into many parts of 
Europe, particularly Italy and Spain, and also on the coast of 
Gaul ; but we know very little of Masonry in these countries 
until after they were overrun by the Romans. 

We do not recollect how many works of art have been 
claimed as constituting the seven wonders of the world, but 
there is no specimen of Operative Masonry which, to our mind, 
presents so much mystery as the celebrated Wall of China, 
which, though it has long occupied a place on the map, we do 
not, to this day, know when or by whom it was built. Our 
knowledge of the Chinese Empire is of modern date. We 
think it was near the close of the sixteenth century that some 
Jesuit priests entered, by some stratagem, within the wall, and 
after remaining some time brought away, or professed to do so, 
the secret of making: their ware. The Chinese believe that 
they have occupied the same spot of ground from the creation 
of the world, which they make some two thousand years older 
than it appears from the accounts of Moses. They have an 
account of several floods, but deny that even the great deluge 
reached China. This people have a few learned men who are 
somewhat acquainted with astronomy ; for they record all 
remarkable eclipses and conjunctions of the planets, and but 
for the modern improvements and discoveries in astronomy, 
we should be driven to the Bible alone, to set aside their 
chronological calendar ; but the celebrated Cassini, observing 
their account of a remarkable conjunction of sun, moon, and 
some of the planets, which took place, according to their 
showing, shortly after the creation, or about six thousand years 
ago — calculated back, and proves that such a conjunction 
actually took place in China one thousand eight hundred and 
twelve years before Christ, or in the time of Abraham, about 



four hundred years after the Flood ; which, if true, shows the 
government to be very ancient, and that their account of the 
creation is incorrect. 

One thing seems to be very certain, viz., that this people 
possessed a knowledge of architecture in an eminent degree, 
before they built their Great Wall. That they have retained 
that knowledge or improved upon it, without any assistance 
from other nations, furnishes another evidence that architecture 
was better understood by the ancients than it is at the present 
day ; for, in point of magnitude, the world never saw anything 
to equal the Wall of China. We state from memory, that it is 
fifteen hundred miles long, and sufficiently thick for carriages 
to be drawn and pass each other on its top. Different opinions 
are entertained in reference to the style of the work ; but we 
think the length of time it has stood, underwrites the quality of 
the work. We think it probable that this people had been sur- 
rounded by warlike tribes, and being themselves lovers of 
science, and averse to war, inclosed themselves in a wall ; and 
so rigid and complete became their seclusion, that they lost even 
a knowledge of other nations. 

We read, some twenty-eight years since, Lord Amherst’s 
account of the manner and customs of the Chinese, from a 
personal intercourse with them, inside the Great Wall. We are 
not positive as to the particular stratagem used on this occasion 
to gain his admission, but, if our memory is correct, he bore a 
present of a fine carriage from George III., of England, with the 
condition that it was to be delivered to the Emperor in per- 
son, and Lord Amherst states that, after great precautions and 
blindfolding, he was admitted. He informs us that the policy of 
the government is, in many respects, the very reverse of any 
Anglo-Saxon nation. For example, while we are using every 
power of mind to do away with manual labor, the canals are so 
built that all goods are landed at the most distant point of 
the empire, from the place of final destination ; and that no 
means of conveyance is then allowed but that of manual labor; 
nor is this so very remarkable, when we remember that they for- 
bid emigration, and must needs seek to give employment to all 
citizens; for it will be remembered that the business houses, 



which are situated outside of the wall, in order to carry on 
commerce with other nations, furnish employment to a very 
small portion of the citizens. 

Since, in these latter days, the Chinese have permitted a more 
liberal intercourse with other and Christian nations, we have 
some prospect that the effect will be a conversion to Christianity, 
a cessation of infanticide and idolatrous worship, and a turning 
to the true worship, and a general system of slaughtering adults 
under the sanction of Chinese laws abandoned. 

England has already given them a foretaste of coming events. 
Lord Amherst represents the common people as being a faithless, 
lying set of ignorant beings ; but, in giving credit to the man 
ner of his reception, we are left at liberty to infer that the} 
may have been instructed to deceive him, with the intention 
that he should know as little as possible of their true character 
and condition. We think this author states that when the 
carriage was presented to the Emperor, he ordered his best 
workmen to make one just like it, and conceal or destroy the 
original, showing a determination not to let the people know 
that he would use any article of foreign manufacture. 

In relation to the ignorance of the people, we should be 
surprised to hear any other account than that given by Lord 
Amherst ; for the nature of their language, and character of 
government, must ever confine any very extensive knowledge of 
the arts and sciences to the few who are privileged by birth or 
wealth. It matters not to which of the sons of Ncah Ave trace 
this people. It is very evident that they understood Operative 
Masonry at an early period ; but, as far as we know, there is no 
account, either historical or traditional, of an organized Society 
of Freemasons in the empire, even to the present day. Yet, it 
is not impossible that it does there exist ; and, if so, its tradi- 
tions might tend to remove much of the obscurity which shrouds 
a portion of Masonic history. But we have strong reasons for 
supposing that no such Society ever existed there until intro- 
duced by Englishmen, within a short period. 

All the traditions and teachings of Masonry, aslar as we under 
stand them, are founded on, and corroborative of, the Bible , 
and the traditions of the Chinese are at open and direct variance 



with that holy volume. But, if the opinions of Dr. Oliver are 
correct, that geometry is Masonry, and that Masonry is the true 
religion, then have that people been long Masons, and the true 
religion is not to be found in the Bible. The great works of the 
Chinese leave no room to doubt their early knowledge of geom- 
etry and architecture ; and, of course, as their religion and tra- 
ditions ante-date the accounts of the Bible, and give altogether 
a different history, their religion can have no connection with 
the Christian religion. So that, if they have the true, we have 
the false religion. 

We have read and heard, again and again, that Masonry is 
universal ; that we have brethren of the mystic tie in every 
inhabited part of the globe, and, for aught we know, it may bo 
so ; but we are not prepared to believe, as true, mere declama- 
tion, unaccompanied by proof of any kind. Masonry is univer- 
sal in its principles, upon one important condition, viz., the 
belief in one Supreme Being ; but we have nowhere any 
authority for making Masons of those who believe in a plurality 
of gods. We have heard that we have brethren among the 
various tribes of Indians ; but, while there is nothing in their 
faith to disqualify them (they all believe in a Supreme Being), 
we ask if we have any account of Masonry among the Indians 
prior to their intercourse with the wdiites ? A few have been 
made, as Brant was, by the whites, who knew them to be 
worthy from an intimate acquaintance ; and a few others have 
been made also by the whites, as was recently done in Ohio, 
without any knowledge of the moral fitness or qualifications of 
the candidates. 

In the case alluded to in Ohio, our brethren seek to find an 
excuse in the fact that an Indian interpreter, a half-breed, had 
with him a precious relic, on which was painted some mysterious 
characters, the tradition of which, from what w r e can learn, was 
about as much like “ ancient Dr uidism,” or the “Society of Red 
Men,” as Masonry. But as the half-breed was, from his own 
account, somehow connected with some Indian mystery, ergo, it 
was spurious Masonry, and he deserved to be healed. If 
Masons are thus carelessly and recklessly made at this day, 
when the Institution is so gloriously in the ascendant, is it 



remarkable that Chinese Masons are to be found in the person 
of those who have visited Christendom ? Point us to the Lodge 
among the Indians or Chinese, that can trace its origin to a 
period anterior to their intercourse with a Christian or civilized 
people, and we may be prepared to credit the story of universal 

To us it does seem strange that so many able writers labor 
to make Masonry so much more than common sense will bear 
them out in ; when, if its well known history and character is 
given without exaggeration, it will appear proudly above all 
other human associations, as a system of ethics, capable of being 
understood by all ; and it is the more remarkable, when we 
reflect that these extraordinary claims are calculated to excite 
the ridicule and animadversions of the thinking historian. Tell 
an intelligent man that Masonry is the true religion, and that 
its members are to be found in every tribe, kindred, and tongue 
— one portion acknowledging the Bible as the rule for the 
government of their faith, another the Koran, another without 
any written law, but worshiping the sun, moon, stars, animals, 
sticks, or stones — and what must he think of you, or of Masonry ? 
We can find a reason for believing animal magnetism, clairvoy- 
ance, Millerism, Mormonism, enchantment, or even witchcraft, 
or any other imposition of the day ; but we are at a loss to 
conceive of a single reason going to show that Masonry is the 
wonderful system of palpable contradictions, which makes it the 
true religion and spurious religion, Christian and anti-Christian, 
and, withal, as old as the world, and as wide-spread as the 
^universe of man. The Chinese evidently understood architec- 
ture at a period long anterior to our knowledge of their 
internal government ; the immense wall alone proves this. 
And if we take the account of Moses, as much may be said of 
the Antediluvians ; but does it, therefore, follow that the Ante- 
diluvians, Chinese, and Christians have ever practiced the same 
system of ethics, through the medium of the same organized 
Society, Freemasonry ? We find the task a difficult one, to 
trace, satisfactorily, the Association from the days of Solomon to 
the great Convocation of York, in England, in 928, 

0 H A P T ER IX 

Tee Hetrurians used the Tuscan order of architecture at a 
rery early period of their history, but from the Greeks, wlic 
never used this order, they learned the Doric, Ionic, and 
Corinthian orders ; and when Turrenus, the last King of the 
Tuscans, bequeathed his government to the Romans, B.C. 279, 
they had built many splendid specimens of their art. The 
Romans, seeing these, invited their workmen to Rome, where 
they taught their knowledge of architecture. 

When Marcellus took possession of the rich spoils of Syracuse, 
he imitated the great Archimedes, by becoming the Grand 
Master, or patron of Masonry, and employed all the most 
accomplished Fellow Crafts to build the celebrated theatre at 
Rome ; also a Temple to Virtue, and one to Honor. But the 
Romans still remained greatly in the rear of the Greeks, until 
the time of Scipio Asiaticus, B.C. 190, who led the Romans 
against the King of Syria, and took, by force, the country West 
of Tarsus. Here they beheld the magnificent specimens of 
Grecian architecture with wonder and admiration, and they 
sought carefully to imitate them. Soon after this event, there 
followed a series of conquests, which tended powerfully to foster 
and build up a love of the arts and sciences. 

In the time of Scipio Africanus, who was an encourager of 
the arts and sciences, Carthage, the great rival of Rome, was 
taken, and by order of the Senate destroyed, B.C. 146, but not 
until Scipio, who mourned to see such specimens of magnificence 
destroyed, had learned much of Carthagenian architecture. 
Nor is this all that tended to establish the glory of the Roman 
Republic. About the same period, Mummius entered and sacked 
Corinth, the queen city of Greece, from which were taken, not 
only the finest specimens of art, but the learned in science and 



architecture were invited to Rome, from which period 
assumed a proud stand among the nations of the earth, 
noble palace of Paulus Emilius, the triumphal arch of Marius, 
in Gaul, and the three theatres at Rome, rose in their splendor 
One of these theatres was so remarkable in size and style of finish, 
that we are induced to give a brief description of it here. 
This building was capable of holding eighty thousand persons. 
The interior was divided into three separate divisions or lofts 
of scenery, one above another, supported by three hundred and 
sixty columns ; the first row of marble, the second of crystal, 
and the third of wood. Between these columns were three thou- 
sand human statues, beautifully formed of brass. 

In the days of Tarquinus Superbus, the Temple of Jupiter 
Capitolinus was built, and their god, Jupiter, was made of clay ; 
but this Temple being destroyed, the great Sylla had the 
columns taken from Jupiter Olympus in Greece, and used them in 
building the new Temple in Rome, and made Jupiter of pure gold. 

Pompey the Great built a splendid theatre near his palace, 
that held forty thousand persons. At this period, no people 
were so fond of shows of all kinds as the Romans ; and though 
in all ages theatrical amusements have seemed to lead to the 
toleration of more or less obscenity and immorality, it is 
nevertheless true that to this species of public amusement are 
we much indebted for the advancement of this people in literary 
taste, and a love of knowledge and virtue. 

We have been speaking of the proudest days of Rome, all 
things considered, but now a mighty struggle commenced 
between two great men — Pompey and Julius Caesar contending 
for supremacy. The struggle was between two great Generals, 
of giant intellects, and long was the effort of doubtful result ; 
but finally, Pompey was routed at Pharsalia, and murdered m 
his attempt to escape, and thus the Republic of Rome, which 
had existed for more than one hundred years, fell to rise no 
more. Caesar was proclaimed perpetual Dictator and Imperator. 
The High Priest reformed the Roman calendar, B.C. 48. 

It is stated by Pliny that Julius Caesar built the great Circus, 
three furlongs in length and one ir breadth, which was capable 
of holding, at the shows, two hundred and sixty thousand 



people. He built Cassar’s Palace, the beautiful Temple of 
Venus, and ordered Corinth and Carthage to be rebuilt about 
one hundred } T ears after they were destroyed. But how shall 
we reconcile this statement with the short period which elapsed 
between his ascension to power and his death? We do not say 
that he did not accomplish all the great works assigned to him. 
but we believe that, if he did so, they must have been commenced 
long before he was declared Dictator, for he was murdered 
at Pompey’s statue, by his ungrateful friend Brutus, B.C. 44. 

It must ever remain a matter of opinion and doubt, whether 
the fall of Ctesar was, or not, a national calamity. On the one 
hand, the lovers of liberty and republican government will 
contend that as a tyrant he deserved to die, that Rome might 
return to her republican form of government ; while on the 
other, it may with truth be said that the Roman people had 
lost their capacity to govern themselves ; but all agree that the 
consequences which followed resulted in the glory of the Roman 
Empire, for the conquest of Egypt, the death of Cleopatra, 
the fall of the Grecian monarchy immediately followed, and 
ushered in the magnificent Augustan age, which was destined 
to throw a halo of glory around the Roman Empire, making it 
not only the seat of imperial power, but the nursery of the arts 
and sciences ; and though eighteen hundred years have now rolled 
away, the magnificence and glory of that age furnishes a 
truitful theme for the pen of the scholar, statesman, and orator. 

Augustus was not only a lover of science, and a great 
encourager of the arts, but some of the greatest men of any 
age then lived, and were co-workers with him to give imperish 
able fame to the Roman Empire. We doubt whether, since the 
days of Solomon, a man has lived who, as Grand Master, or 
overseer of the Craft, has done more to advance the interest 
and prosperity of Operative Masonry than did Vitruvius, who 
wrote learnedly on the subject of geometry and architecture ; 
and under the patronage of Augustus, assisted by Agrippa, 
commenced building B.C. 29. He first employed the Craft in 
repairing the public works which had been torn down or 
injured during the wars. He then built the bridge at Arminium, 
and at Rome he erected the Temple of Apollo, the Temple of 



Mars, the great Rotunda, the splendid Forum, the Palace of 
Augustus, the beautiful statue in the capitol, and many other 
statues in the palaces, the library, the portico, the park, and the 
splendid Mausoleum ; and placed in the Temple of Venus a 
gold statue of Cleopatra, which had been brought from Egypt- 
But we shall look with wonder and admiration at this golden 
age of Operative Masonry, when we contemplate the effect 
which the erection of these public edifices had upon the private 
citizens of Rome, who, becoming disgusted with their old brick 
mansions, and enamored with the Augustan style, tore them 
down and rebuilt of pure marble, so that, in the death hour of 
Augustus, he could with truth say, “ I found Rome built of brick, 
Out I leave it built of marble.” 

The remains of the very buildings of which we have been 
writing have been found and faithfully described by travelers 
in the nineteenth century, from which we may fairly raise the 
question whether architecture has marched forward or receded 
for the last nineteen hundred vears. We believe it has receded, 
md will continue to do so until a revolution in the classifica- 
tion of employment is produced. So long as it shall be regard- 
:-d more honorable recklessly to advocate a bad cause, or shield 
and defend villainy in a court of justice, or ignorantly tamper 
with human life by every species of deception and fraud, or 
stand behind the counter and live by misrepresentations, or 
even to spin street yarn and live a drone in the hive of nature 
— we say, so long as the w r orld shall regard all these occupations 
more honorable than to be master of a noble science, men of 
the best minds and ample means will not become master build- 
ers or accomplished architects. Men are not now, as formerly, 
educated for architects. The European crowned heads and 
best bom make only the learned professions honorable ; while 
Americans, grateful for foreign crumbs of fashion, not only 
trucklingly ape foreigners in this, but seek to excel them by 
placing a well dressed scientific gambler greatly above a penny- 
less scientific mechanic. That this is all wrong, few if any will 
question ; every intelligent, thinking man, who desires tin.' 
honor and prosperity of his country, must admit that the 
present state of society is not likely to promote the progress 



of the mechanic arts. There was a time when architecture 
was practiced by the most learned and wise men of the day ; 
then architecture flourished, and that people who excelled in 
this became the great people of the age. There was a time 
when the science of medicine was in the hands of barbers, and 
it dwindled into insignificance. If the day shall ever come 
when men will be esteemed in proportion to their merit, skill, 
and knowledge of their business — when the learned and accom- 
plished mechanic shall stand as high in the community as the 
learned lawyer or doctor — then, and not till then, will the art 
of building be cultivated, and the science of geometry once 
more engage the attention of the learned and wise. But to 
whom shall we appeal with the hope of even beginning this 
reformation ? Our attention was forcibly called to this subject 
by our learned and able correspondent “ G.” whose article may 
be seen in the first and second numbers of the Signet. He 
calls upon Freemasons to go back and redeem the noble science 
of architecture from its fallen condition, and place it before the 
world in its former grandeur. He boldly makes the charg6 
(and no mechanic has offered to refute it) that there is not a 
brick mason in the city of St. Louis who is capable of ascer- 
taining what amount of pressure a brick, made of the ordinary 
clay, is capable of sustaining. He instances the shot tower that 
fell in this city a few years since ; he states that the neighbors 
became alarmed, thinking there was danger of its falling ; that 
some scientific mechanics were called upon to examine it, and 
they pronounced it safe, and the next day it fell. He calls 
upon the Masons to educate the orphan children, and make 
accomplished builders of them. In short, he calls upon us to 
assume control of the science, and so encourage its study, that 
once more the world may know that the Society of Freema- 
sons could at any time furnish competent builders. We know 
there is no probability that these suggestions will lead to any 
immediate practical good ; but there is hope “ if the tree be 
cut down, the tender branches thereof will not cease.” There 
is hope that these remarks may, at some future day. awaken the 
mind of some Iot er of the noble, but decaying science, and 
stimulate him to lay the foundation of a glorious revolution. 



Should the day come when a Grand Lodge would offer pre- 
miums for the best specimens of architecture, that Grand 
Lodge will have begun the good work. 

We return to our history, by carrying our readers into Judea, 
B.C. 180. At this period, the High Priests of Jerusalem had 
charge of Masonry under the Kings of Egypt, and hence they 
are styled by Anderson and others Provincial Grand Masters, 
until Seleucus Philopater, King of Syria, seized upon Palestine. 
His son. Antiochus Epiphanes, persecuted the Jews with great 
cruelty, until they were rescued by the Asmonean Priest, Judas 
Maccaboeus. This High Priest was not the regular descendant 
of Joshua, the High Priest, but came of the line of Joarib, the 
great grandfather of Mattathias, the Priest of Madin. The 
lineal successor of Joshua was Onias, who, being deprived of 
liis right by the Syrian Kings, traveled into Egypt, and built a 
Temple at Heliopolis; and being greatly assisted by the Jews 
then in Cyrene, he endeavored to make this Temple resemble 
the one at Jerusalem. He commenced it B.C. 149, and being 
speedily completed, stood until A.D. 73, a period of two hun- 
dred and twenty- two years, when it was destroyed by Vespasian 
the Emperor. Mark Antony induced the Senate of Rome to 
create Herod, the Edomite, King of Judea, B.C. 33. Herod, 
by the help of the Romans, conquered Antigonus and mounted 
the throne at Jerusalem. He got rid of all the Asmonean 
Priests, and by his fiat made and set up High Priests according 
to his own will and pleasure. Herod became the greatest 
builder of his day — he was regarded as the patron or Grand 
Master of all the Lodges in Judea, and greatly added to the 
knowledge of Masonry, by sending to Greece for the most expert 
Craftsmen, whose superior knowledge of architecture was of 
great service to the Jews. 

After the battle of Actium, B.C. 30, Herod being reconciled 
to Augustus, began to show his great powers of mind, and 
exemplify his knowledge and taste in architecture. He erected 
a splendid theatre at Jerusalem, after the Grecian order ; he 
next built the city of Sebaste, or Augustus, in which he built a 
small Temple after the model of the great one at Jerusalem. He 
built a Temple of pure white marble at Paneas ; also the cities 



ot Antipatris,Phasaelis, and Cypron, and tlie tower of Phasael at 
Jerusalem. But that which added most to his fame throughout 
the world, was his rebuilding the Temple of Zerubbabel. 
Herod seems to have had two great objects in view in this 
great undertaking — first, to win the attachment of the Jews ; 
and, second, to establish his name among the nations of the earth 
as a wealthy and scientific Prince. The Temple at Jerusalem 
had been standing about five hundred years, and was much 
decayed and injured by the many wars to which it had been 
exposed ; but the attachment of the Jews to this venerable 
edifice may be seen when Herod gathered them together, and 
informed them that he designed throwing down the old Temple 
for the purpose of rebuilding it anew, for the alarm which this 
intelligence produced was such that Herod was compelled to 
promise that the Temple should not be pulled down until every- 
thing was in readiness to rebuild ; and accordingly he set about 
preparing materials, employing great numbers of masons and 
one thousand wagons, in collecting the stones and timbers. 
Herod acting as Grand Master, divided the masons — ten thou- 
sand in number — into Lodges, and selected two learned Rabbins 
— Hillel and Shammai — his assistants, or Wardens. Within 
two years he had got all things in readiness for the new Temple, 
when he pulled down the old one, and laid the corner-stone, or 
foot-stone as it was then called, just forty-six years before the 
first Passover of Christ's personal ministry. The reader will 
remember to have read in John ii. 20, that the Jews said to 
Christ, “ forty and six years hath this Temple been in building." 
Mow, this may seem inconsistent with the historical facts handed 
down to us, if we are not careful to interpret the meaning of 
these Jews correctly. We learn that the Temple proper, 01 
the most holy place in the East, and the porch in the West, and 
passage leading to both, were finished at an immense cost ir. 
the short space of one year and six months from the laying of 
the corner-stone ; and all the balance of the building as planned 
by Herod, and constituting the original design as drawn by 
him on the trestle board, in eight years more, when the cape- 
stone was celebrated by the Fraternity with great pomp and 
splendor ; and the more so, because the day was the same in the 



year that Herod received the crown. But a great number li 
masons were retained in adding outer buildings, so that if the 
Jews intended to refer to these as part and parcel of the 
Temple, it was in building forty-six years at the Passover, and 
was continued all the time our Saviour sojourned on earth, and 
several years after, and up to the time when Gesius Floras, 
who was made Governor of Judea, discharged eighteen thou- 
sand masons, which gave great offense to all the Jews ; for they 
were constrained to regard this as a stroke, not only at their 
Temple, but also at their worship. 

Josephus describes this Temple as a magnificent marble 
edifice, set off with a great profusion of costly decorations, and 
as being the finest building upon earth since the days of 
Solomon. It was much larger than the Temple of Zerubbabel, 
and was modernized with the Grecian order of architecture. 
This Temple was not finished, in all its parts, until about six 
months before its destruction, A.D. 64:. And now we approach 
that wonderful and interesting period when peace and tran- 
quility was to cover the face of the earth. When all wars and 
rumors of wars were to be swallowed up in- glad tidings of 
great joy. When the new Star of Bethlehem should decorate 
the heavens, and guide the wise men of theEast to the manger. 
The Temple of Venus was closed, as if ashamed of the superior 
light which was soon to burst upon a gazing and admiring 
world. Augustus had reigned twenty-six years after the con- 
quest of Egypt ; his reign was made glorious by his many 
works of art, and his liberal encouragement of the sciences, but 
now become still more famous by his having lived and reigned 
at that period, when the Word was made flesh ; when Christ, 
the Saviour, the mighty Prince of Peace, was born into this 
world, to be a propitiation for our sins and a lamp to our feet, 
to lead us from the errors of our way and point us to the 
glorious morn of the resurrection, when our bodies shall rise 
and become as incorruptible as our souls ; when, if we have 
walked in newness of life and kept the faith as once delivered to 
the saints, we may all hope to arise and ascend higher, and yet 
still higher, through the countless realms of never ending bliss, 
and live with Him in eternal glory. 


We do not feel it to be our duty to enter into a biblical 
research in order to show all the striking evidences furnished 
by God to man, when and how the Messiah would make 11 is 
advent into the world — this task appropriately belongs to 
doctors of divinity — but as being intimately connected with the 
authentic history of mankind, and especially with the Jewish 
nation, the birth-place of Masonry, we think it not out of place 
to quote the following prediction of the Patriarch Jacob. 
When his spirit was about to leave its tabernacle of clay, and 
appear before the awful Judge of quick and dead, he assembled 
his twelve sons, who were the chiefs of the twelve tribes, and 
foretold many things which would befall that people, and 
among them the following stands conspicuous : 

“ The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver 
from between his feet, until Shiloh come, and unto Him shall the 
gathering of the people be.” 

We will now trace some of the prominent events which 
transpired shortly before the coming of our Saviour, from 
which we may learn how far the above prophecy was fulfilled. 
About 40 years B.C., Pacorus, son of the King of Parthia, 
entered Syria with a powerful army, and from thence sent a 
strong detachment into Judea, with instructions to place 
Antigonus, the son of Aristobulus, upon the throne. Several 
prominent Jews, among whom was a brother of Herod’s, were 
enticed to the army of the enemy, under a pretext of com- 
promise, when they were placed in irons. Herod, at this 
critical period, escaped from Jerusalem. When the Parthians 
entered the city, not finding Herod, they placed Antigonus on 
the throne, and delivered the prisoners into his hands. Phasael, 
knowing that an ignominious death awaited him, dashed out 
his brains against the wall of his prison. Uyrcanus had his 



life granted, "but, in order tliat he might never be able to enter 
the priesthood, Antigonus caused his ears to be cut off, knowing 
that the Levitical law required that the High Priest should be 
perfect in all his parts or members. In the life of Hyrcanus 
may be seen a striking exemplification of the devoted attach- 
ment of the Jews to the Holy City. After he was mutilated as 
above the Parthians took him to Silencia, in Babylonia, where 
he remained a prisoner until Phraates received the crown, who 
caused his liberty to be restored and allowed him to have free 
intercourse with his countrymen, who regarded him as their 
King and High Priest, and raised him a revenue to keep him in 
splendor ; yet the love he bore to his native country caused 
him to disregard these advantages and comforts. He returned 
to Jerusalem, whither Herod had invited him, and who after- 
ward had him put to death. 

When Herod escaped from the city, he went to Egypt and 
thence to Pome. Antony was then enjoying the high power 
conferred upon him by the triumvirate. Herod desired Antony 
to procure the crown for Aristobulus, to whose sister he was 
betrothed ; but Antony caused the crown to be conferred 
upon him, in violation of all Roman usage ; for until now they 
had not ventured to interfere with the rights of royal houses in 
behalf of a stranger. But in this case, even the Senate bowed 
obedience to the will of Antony, by declaring Herod King of 
Judea, and caused the consuls to conduct him to the capitol, 
where he received the usual honors ; but it was by no means 
certain, for some time, that he would be able to keep his position. 
Antigonus refused to resign a throne which he had acquired at 
so much cost, and for two years maintained his defense. In 
ihe winter, B.C. 38 , Herod made vigorous preparations for a 
successful campaign in the spring, and opened it with the sieere 
of Jerusalem. Antony had given orders to Sosius, Governoi 
of Syria, to use his utmost to reduce Antigonus, and give Herod 
full possession of the throne, and the two armies, being united, 
amounted to sixty thousand, and after a siege of six months, 
took the city. This army, contrary to the orders and will of 
Herod, put thousands of the Jews to the sword, and flooded 
die land with blood. Antigonus. being thus defeated, threw 



nimself at the feet of his conqueror, who sent him in chains to 
Antony. Herod, not feeling secure while Antigonus lived, 
induced Antony to have him put to death. He was tried, con- 
demned, and executed as a common criminal. This was a 
violation of Roman usage, his being a crowned head. 

Thus this unexampled event, by which the sovereign 
authority of the Jews was given into the hands of a stranger, 
and the reign of the Asmoneans, which had continued one 
hundred and thirty years, substituted by an Idumenian, w£H 
the prophecy being fulfilled — thus was the sceptre about to 
depart from Judah, and the prediction of Jacob about to be 
fulfilled : — Judah should reign over all other tribes until Shiloh 
come ; the Jews should exist as a nation, and be governed by 
Judah until the coming of the Messiah. The tribe of- Judah 
has no longer the right to rule — the magistrates are no longer 
taken from thence, for Shiloh has come, “ and unto Him shall 
the gathering of the people be.” Herod had been made King 
contrary to all law ; but the decree of Heaven had gone forth 
— the sceptre had departed from Judah, and King Emanuel 
was to commence his peaceful reign on earth. In the twenty- 
sixth year of Augustus, the Temple of Janus was closed up, 
because the whole world was at peace; the word was made 
flesh ; Jesus Christ was born — after Solomon’s reign nine 
hundred and seventy-one years, in the year of Rome seven 
hundred and forty-five, in the year of Herod thirty-four, and in 
the year of the world four thousand. Four years after the 
birth of Christ, A.M. 4004, or Anno Domini 1, the Christian 
era begins. Augustus was a great friend and patron of Ma 
sonry, giving employment and respectability to all worthy 
Craftsmen ; he reigned with great splendor forty-four years, 
and was succeeded by his colleague, Tiberius, under whose 
reign the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified by Pontius Pilate, 
the Roman Governor of Judea. Tiberius afterward banished 
Pilate for this deed of injustice. Under this reign the Augustan 
style of architecture continued to be cultivated, and the Crafts- 
men met with great encouragement. 

Nero built a splendid palace about this time, and erected a 
brass statue of himself, one hundred and ten feet high. 



In the year A.D. 64, Vespasian sent his son Titus to subdue 
the Jews, and take possession of Jerusalem. When his soldiers 
were sacking the city, one of them, contrary to orders, set fire 
to the Temple, and soon after the whole city was leveled with 
the earth, so that not one stone was left upon another ; and 
that the prophecies might be fulfilled, the conqueror caused a 
plow to be run over the ruin thereof, as a testimonial of its 
total and final desolation. Vespasian has the honor of intro- 
ducing the Composite order of architecture, when he erected 
his splendid amphitheatre. This Prince ordered the Jewish 
Temple in Egypt to be demolished, A.D. 78, and died A.D. 77. 
When Titus had overrun the country of the Jews, he returned 
and caused a triumphal arch to be raised, and adorned it with 
splendid engravings and rich sculptures ; also his noble palace 
and other public buildings. Domitian rebuilt the Temple of 
Capitolinus, which he overlaid with plates of pure gold. He 
also built the Temple of Minerva, and a palace, more splendid 
than that of Augustus, containing stately galleries, halls, baths, 
and beautiful apartments for his women. He died A.D. 88, 
and was succeeded by Nerva, who died A.D. 95, having adopted 
Trojan, who, by aid of the renowned architect and geometri- 
cian, Apolodorus, constructed a splendid bridge over the 
Danube, built two triumphal arches, a palace, circus, and his 
famous column, one hundred and twenty-eight feet high, with 
one hundred and twenty-three stairs. In those days no public 
buildings were erected without having mystical inscriptions, 
evidently designed to hand down to the Masons of future ages 
the mysteries of the Order. This noble column was orna- 
men ted with mystical figures, ascending in spiral lines, from 
the base to the capital. 

In A.D. 130, Adrian, who was a Mason of great learning 
built the Roman Wall, in England, the remains of which are 
probably yet to be seen in Northumberland. He also built a 
bridge at Rome, his Mausoleum, etc., etc. 

We are now approaching a period when Masonry was 
neglected. We read of Antoninus, Marcus, Aurelius, Corn- 
modus, and others, as having built some edifices, and, more or 
less, patronizing Masonry ; but nothing remarkable is recorded 



intil the reign of Constantine the Great, who reared at Rome 
the last triumphal arch after the Augustan style. In A.D. 300. 
this great Prince removed to Byzantium, which lie called 
Constantinople. He took with him many monuments of Italian 
art, and the best artists, that he might ornament Constan- 
tinople, where he expended large sums in the employment of the 
Craft, to erect many magnificent structures, including his own 
equestrian statue, and died A.D. 336. 

Architecture, and, indeed, all the arts and sciences, now 
dwindled at Rome, and as an evidence of the liability of man 
to pass to extremes, we are constrained to notice that this 
state of things was much owing to the mistaken zeal of the 
Christians ; for such was their hatred of idolatry, that they 
injudiciously destroyed many of the noble monuments of art, 
until the Roman Empire was divided between Yalentinian and 
Valens. The former died A.D. 374, the latter A.D. 378. 

The northern nations of Europe, the Goths, Vandals, Huns, 
Allemans, Dacians, Franks, Saxons, Angles, Longobards, and 
many others, had grown in power and boldness in proportion 
as Rome became weak. They invaded Greece, Asia, Spain, 
Africa, and Gaul, and even Italy itself, overrunning, like a 
mighty avalanche, the civilized world, trampling under foot 
every specimen of polite learning, and waging open war against 
the arts and sciences. How wonderful will appear the ways 
of Providence, when we remember what the Anglo-Saxon race 
once was, and what it is now ! Verily, “ the first shall be last, 
and the last shall be first.” 

Amid the gloom of Masonic desolation, of which we have 
been speaking, one bright spot appeared and tended to preserve 
our noble art. Theodosius the Great ascended the throne in 
the East A.D. 378, who arrested the onward march of the 
barbarians ; and so devoted was he to our Order, that he 
enacted a law exempting all the Craft from taxation. Soon 
after he became sole Emperor of the East and West, and then 
partitioned the Government between his two sons, Ilonorius 
and Arcadius. They both expended much of the rich spoils ol 
war, from Greece, Egypt, and Asia, in building, etc. 

When Justinian the First came into power, lie determined. 



at all hazards, to support and sustain the noble Craft, and sue 
ceeded in restoring the Roman Empire almost to its former 
grandeur. In A.D. 526, finding the arts and sciences in great 
peril of being for ever lost, he dispatched his brave General, 
Belisarius, with a powerful army against Totila, the Goth. wiio. 
at the head of an army of savages, took old Rome, and set fire 
to it, which, after burning thirteen days, left poor remains to 
be rescued by Belisarius. From this period may be dated the 
downfall of the arts and sciences in Italy. The Augustan style 
of architecture was here lost— the harmony of Lodges was 
broken — Masonry was overthrown and well nigh destroyed by 
Gothic ignorance. Justinian succeeded in arresting from 
savage vengeance the substance of the civil law, and by the 
assistance of his wise councilmen, digested a code which bears 
his name. He rebuilt the church of St. Sophia, at a cost of 
three hundred and forty thousand talents in gold, which he 
vainly attempted to make equal to the Temple of Solomon. 
The world is indebted to Justinian for great achievements, and 
his name is venerated for many accomplishments and virtues ; 
but there is one dark spot upon his fame that centuries more 
will not efface. He caused the eyes of Belisarius to be put 
out, and left him in abject poverty, and only able to preserve 
life by begging alms at the gates of St. Sophia. As if to hold 
up to derision and scorn the dastardly conduct of Justinian, the 
faithful historian has recorded the words of the royal beggar : — 
Give a halfpenny to Belisarius, whom virtue had raised and 
envy depressed.” 

From the period of which we have been speaking, the arts 
and sciences declined for several ages. Persecutions and 
bloody wars succeeded in quick succession. Emperor after 
emperor was murdered by his successor ; cruelty and rapine 
covered the land and disgraced the very name of Christian, and 
led to still more disastrous results. In the beginning of the 
seventh century, the Mohammedans had become numerous, and 
stimulated bv the vindictive spirit of their opponents — goaded 
on by the wild and merciless bigotry of their faith — they came 
forth, as an avenging host, carrying fire and sword over the 
land, laying waste every vestige of elegance or refinement. The 



noble specimens of art were torn down or consumed, and even 
the gigantic tree of Masonry was shorn of its beautiful foliage, 
and drooped beneath a cloudy sky for many ages. The 
Augustan style was here lost, and if not dug up amid the 
ancient ruins, in the nineteenth century, is lost for ever. When, 
nicer the lapse of years, the Goths began to assume some pride 
and taste for building, it was but too manifest that the very 
principles were unknown ; for with all their wealth and 
ambition, and the unceasing study of their ablest designers, 
aided, too, by the secrets of the Order, which had been trans- 
mitted from father to son, and from Lodge to Lodge, they suc- 
ceeded only in bringing forth that uncomely order, ever since 
called the Gothic, which to this day is sometimes used in massy 
structures — occasionally in a church or convent ; but the taste 
that admires this order more than the Grecian or Roman style, 
must, we think, prefer disorder and disproportion to form and 
symmetry. Yet the laudable efforts of the Goths to supply 
the loss of the old style of architecture tended, finally, as we 
shall see, to restore, in some measure, the earlier and nrre 
perfect orders. 

Toward the close of the eighth century, Charlemag \e 
endeavored, by every means in his power, to reestabli h 
Lodges, and resuscitate the ancient orders of architecture. A 
taste for fine building was thus engendered, and the French 
kept up unceasing efforts for the cultivation of architecture , 
geometry, and the sciences, in the days of Hugh Capet ; and 
the result was, that, before the close of the tenth century, the 
Fraternity had so improved on the Gothic style that they ran 
into the other extreme, making their work as much too slender 
and delicate, as the Gothic had been too massy and cumbei 
some. The church of St. John, at Fisa, in Tuscany, under the 
direction of a Greek undertaker, Buschatto, presented some- 
what the appearance of the ancient style of building, which 
was improved upon by others down to the sixteenth century ; 
but the first prince who publicly took steps to produce a 
revival of the ancient style was Charles of Anjou, King of 
Naples. lie employed Nicholas and John Pisan, father and 
sen, to build an abbey in the plain of Taglia Cotzo, where 



Charles had met and overthrown the pretender Couradin, 
They built the King’s new castle at Naples, and other edifices, 
that did credit to the age. They, together with Cimaboius, 
took apprentices, and educated in their Lodge many young 
men, who became master builders ; but the most distinguished 
was Giotto, who became an eminent architect, and established 
an academy, as Lodges were then properly called, and from 
this Lodge proceeded a fund of knowledge in geometry and 
architecture, that sent forth an undying influence over all 
Italy, A.D. 1300. Nor did the community, as now, fail to 
appreciate their learning and skill ; their being mechanics was 
no bar to public favor or public honors. Many of them took 
part in the important offices and affairs of the government. 
One of the pupils educated in the Lodge above named, Laurentio 
Ghiberto, framed the two brazen gates of St. Johns, which, 
after standing long years, were seen by Michael Angelo, who in 
-apture exclaimed, “ they are fit to be the gates of Paradise.” 
We pass over several who became distinguished as under- 
takers and as men of science, and call attention to Dominigo 
Ghirlandais, who was the master of Michael Angelo, and several 
other distinguished men. But, up to this time, much of the 
Gothic style of building was used at Florence, when Bruneleschi 
— who served an apprenticeship, and studied at Borne the 
beautiful and just proportions of the old Boman buildings, then 
lying in ruins — returned and introduced the pure Doric, Ionic, 
Corinthian, and Composite orders. In this noble effort, he and 
his successors were aided and encouraged by the Princes of 
the house of Medicis — for John de Medicis, and his son, Cosmo 
[., were educated in the Lodge at Florence, and each became 
Grand Master ; and the Society or Lodge was called the revi- 
vers, because they were mainly instrumental in reviving the 
Augustan style. Cosmo erected a large library building, and 
filled it with manuscripts from Greece and Asia. To this 
library was attached a cabinet, containing everything which he 
could collect that was either rare or curious. He established 
an extensive commerce by sea and land, and acquired the title of 
the father of his country. He died lamented by all and mourned 
r or by the Masons, A.D. 1464. 



Peter de Medicis succeeded liim, and was a friend to the 
Craft ; he died A.D. 1472, and was succeeded by his son, John 
Julian de Medicis, who was said to be the most remarkable 
youth of his day. He was the most beautiful, the most accom- 
olished, and withal the best operative mechanic in Florence. 
He did much to restore and reestablish the ancient style of 
architecture. He died A.D. 1498. His grandson, Laurenzo, 
built a great gallery in his garden, for the education of the 
most promising youths of the country. His second son, John, 
afterward elected Pope Leo X., was Grand Master of Masons 
in erecting the cathedral of St. Peter, at Rome. His c usin, 
Julius, afterward Pope Clement VII., was also Grand Master, 
and continued the building of St. PetePs ; thus it will be seen 
that the whole family were devoted to arts and sciences, lovers 
and encouragers of Masonry, until Cosmo II. was created 
Grand Duke of Tuscany, A.D. 1561, who became so eminent 
in his knowledge of architecture and his devotion to Masonry, 
that Pope Pius V. and the Emperor Ferdinand styled him the 
great Duke of Tuscany. He was the Grand Master of all the 
Masons of Italy. He established the famous Academy or Lodge 
at Pisa, for the education and improvement of Entered Appren- 
tices. He died in his fifty-sixth year, A.D. 1574. 

At the beginning of the fifteenth century, the Augustan style 
of building revived in Italy. Leon Baptista Alberti was the 
first author in modern times who wrote on architecture ; so 
says Anauetel, Anderson, Reece, and others. If this be true, 
it is not wonderful that Masonry remained so long at a low ebb. 
l’h is author, it seems, gave an impetus to science, and ere 
another century passed away, a greater number of distinguished 
architects lived than in any other age of the world. The Popes, 
Princes, and the States of Itaty, all united to encourage and 
give character to the learned Masons, and thus promote its 
cultivation in the higher classes of society. The celebrated 
Bramante studied Masonry at Milan, examined the sleeping 
remains through all Italy, and became so proficient in the uzt 
as to be employed, by three successive Popes, to build at 
Rome the cloister of the church of Peace, the palace at 
Chancery, and many other splendid and tastefully decorated 



edifices, including a beautiful little church at Mount Orio. 
Under Pope Julian II., Bramante was ordered to draw the 
design of St. Peter’s, at Pome, and at the head of a large assem- 
blage of Cardinals, Clergymen, and Craftsmen, he leveled the 
corner stone, A.D. 1507. This mighty structure now stands the 
proudest specimen of human art upon the earth, but Bramante 
only lived to conduct the work seven years. He died A.D. 
1514, and, by order of Pope Leo X., was buried in the church. 

Raphael, a celebrated painter, had studied Masonry under 
bramante. and succeeded him as superintendent of St. Peter’s, 
until he died A.D. 1520. Had he lived, he was to have been 
made a Cardinal. Next came Jocunde and Antony San G-allo 
into the office of superintendents or overseers of the work 
until they died A.D. 1535, when Pope Paul III. appointed 
Michael Angelo, now the most celebrated draughtsman, and, 
afterward, the most distinguished architect of that, or, perhaps, 
anv other age. He found fault with the draughts of his prede- 
cessors, hence made a new model, by which that lofty and 
magnificent Temple was carried on to completion. It would 
be tedious to mention all the buildings, the designs of which 
were drawn by Michael xVngelo ; suffice it to say, that his long 
hie was spent in the glorious cause of both Operative and 
Soeculative Masonry, and at the advanced age of ninety years, 
he left behind him a fame as imperishable as the world s 
history. It will not be uninteresting to illustrate the high 
estimation in which accomplished Masons were then held by 
kings and princes, by stating that Cosmo the great Duke of 
Tuscany, stole the corpse of Michael Angelo and solemnly 
followed him at the head of an immense procession of Masons 
to St. Cross, at Florence, where he was interred with Masonic 
honors, and a tomb erected to his memory, which was beauti- 
fmiv adorned with three marble statues, representing Archi- 
tecture, Painting, and Sculpture. 

Vignola, aided by Ligorio, as his Warden, succeeded Michael 
Angelo, the latter was discharged from his office by Pope 
Gregory XIII., for altering the model of Michael Angelo. 
V'urnola acquired a high reputation as a draughtsman, and 
died A.D. 1573, and was succeeded by Maderni, who built the 



frontispiece of the Temple. During this age, as intimated 
many distinguished men lived and astonished the world with 
their learning and devotion to Masonry ; but we shall mention 
only one more, and hasten to close this part of our history, 
that we may commence considering the history of our Order 
in England, about which all American Masons feel the deepest 
iu rerest. 

About the period of which we have been writing, Andrea 
Palladio, of Venice, became distinguished by the publication of 
his opinions of the old orders of architecture, giving accurate 
descriptions of the most magnificent Temples of the ancients. 
This work is spoken of in such terms, as to cause us to regret 
our inability to lay hands on it. 

W e now leave Italy, at the close of the sixteenth century, 
having been once the mistress of the world, by the strong arm 
of power, and twice the great cradle of learning, and the home 
of the arts, in this golden age of Masonry, Lodges were truly 
what they should be — academies of learning. Convocation.* 
were held, not alone for the practice of Masonic ceremonies, 
but also to foster, protect, and encourage the cultivation of true 
knowledge and virtue. Masons were educated and rendered 
scientific architects, learned draughtsmen, and practical builders. 
The world knew to whom application might be safely made 
for a competent and honest workman, to design and superintend 
the erection of substantial and beautiful buildings. How 
strikingly would a minute description of the house in which 
we are now writing, illustrate the falling off in architecture 
since the sixteenth century ! Why, reader, several of oui 
friends have warned us of the imminent danger we are sup- 
posed to be in of being buried in the ruins of this our land 
lord’s new four story house. The front wall is supported by 
wood pillars, said to be a little larger than poke-stalks, and 
made to present a tolerable appearance by being boxed up in 
one-inch plank ; and as for our office, the wind is now coming in 
so freely, above, beneath, and at each side of the doors, that 
our light, a good old fashioned tallow candle, is blown hither 
and yon. 



By those who are well acquainted with the history of 
England, as found on record, we shall not be expected to fix 
tbe date when Masonry was introduced into that country, with 
any reliable accuracy. There is intermingled ' so much table 
with all the early accounts of the settlement of that Island, 
that no one at this day can distinguish between the romance of 
Heathen Mythology and sober truth. Whether Bladud, who 
lived about 900 years B.C., was educated in Athens, and com- 
ing here, built Bath, and produced the waters there, and 
afterward, in an attempt to fly with artificial wings, fell from 
the Temple of Apollo — or that the entire story is a fiction, can 
uot now be determined. Whether the Druids of Britain prac 
ticed many of the customs and usages of Masons near 1100 
bears B.C., or whether their story is not something like the 
surmises of the present day, that because one of the red men 
of the forest is found in possession of a piece of bark, or bone, 
with some unintelligible characters engraven thereon, ergo , lie is 
a Mason— we shall not undertake to decide ; but we venture the 
opinion that there is about as much reason in the one as the other. 
The Druids are supposed to have been Masons, because they 
had their secret societies, and refused to publish what transpired 
therein. Now, if it could be shown that this was the only 
secret Society in existence at the time, then we should be con- 
strained to conclude that it was a Masonic Society, or that no 
Society of Masons then existed : but it is easy to show the 
existence of quite a number of secret societies, all teaching and 
practicing the doctrines of false gods, about the period alluded 
to : and, if we rely upon our traditions, it must be manifest that 
Masonry was not then instituted, and though it came into being 
very soon after, it never did teach the doctrine of a plurality 
of gods ; so that the authors who make the ancient Druids a 



Maoonic Society must oe reckless of truth, or know but little 
of the traditions of our Order, for the Druids were infidels, or 
believers in a plurality of gods. In the history of England we 
have another proof that geometry and Masonry never were one 
and the same thing ; for there is abundant proof that, while the 
Island was inhabited by bands of savages (and long before the 
visit of the Romans), they erected dwellings, and even built 
towns, the remains of which are yet to be seen. In applying 
the term savage to the first settlers of Britain, we do not use 
the term to be understood in the ordinary acceptation of the 
present day. We do not mean to say that they knew nothing 
of the arts — far from it — for they must have not only understood 
much about architecture, but also the science of navigation ; 
while they were, nevertheless, savages in their manners and 

The cities of York and Edinburgh were built before Masonry 
was instituted, and the only way in which writers can succeed 
in ante dating Masonry is by making it exclusively Operative ; 
and hence it will be found in the writings of all these lo ers 
of the mar\ elous, that every monarch who caused any building 
to be erected is set down as, not only a Freemason, bm the 
Grand Master of Masons ; and, indeed, we must use some cau- 
tion in the examination of this subject, or we are liable \o be 
deceived, because until the eighteenth century, a very large pro- 
portion of the members of our Order were operatives ; but it 
must not be inferred that they were nort also Speculative. On 
the contrary, our traditions clearly show that, at the building 
of Solomon’s Temple, the principles of morality and the 
doctrines of Moses were clearly taught. We have before stated, 
that for many centuries no employment or occupation was 
regarded more honorable than that of architecture — the best 
men and the best minds were employed or occupied in the cul- 
tivation of a practical knowledge of the art of building ; and, 
hence, when we now read an account of the building of cities 
in former times, we are bound to infer that Masons were 
employed therein ; but it is a great mistake to suppose that all 
workmen employed on every building were Masons, or members 
of the Society. A mistake very much like this has been the 



cause of a very incorrect account of the number of Masons 
employed at the building of Solomon’s Temple, a large propor 
tion of writers having regarded all that worked on the Tern pie 
or in the forests, as Fellow Crafts, or Entered Apprentice 
Masons, when it would seem to us as ridiculous to suppose Kino 
Solomon would make a levy of thirty thousand men, and 
unconditionally introduce them into the Society, a leading 
characteristic of which has ever been that no one could be 
admitted but by a voluntary request, leaving it very certain 
that drafted men were not likely to obtain its benefits. On 
the other hand, we know of no period since the building of the 
Temple, when architecture flourished, that it was not mainly in 
the hands of Freemasons, either under this name, or that of 
Solomon’s Builders and, hence, in writing the history of the 
Order through the middle, or dark ages, we are authorized to 
infer that Masonry was prosperous or depressed much in pro 
portion as architecture advanced or declined. But there is the 
more difficulty in fixing the period at which our Order was 
introduced into England, because of the perpetual wars and 
changes which were so long kept up. The first account upon 
which we can rely for information, in relation to the inhabitants, 
is to be found in Caesar’s, Commentaries , about 50 years B.C. 
Dr. Anderson gives a singular reason to account for Caesar’s not 
pursuing his conquest — viz., that he wished to be Grand Master 
of Rome — unless the Doctor regarded every king or ruler as 
holding that office. 

Agricola- is, probably, the first Roman that undertook any 
buildings of magnitude : nor have we any evidence that he did 
much more than to throw up a wall of earth, to protect the 
Romans from the incursions of the Piets, whom he had defeated, 
or rather, for a time, driven before him, until they were 
reinforced : for they soon broke over the wall, and continued 
their barbarous warfare upon the South, rendering the Roman 
possessions a scene of continual bloodshed. Adrian came in 
person, A.D. 120, and adit Adrian’s Wall, which also failed to 
protect the Romans. About ten years after this, King Lud is 
spoken of as being the first Christian who ruled on the Island ; 
out during his reign the Romans suffered so many and heavi 



losses at the hands of the Northerners, that they were compelled 
to purchase peace at a heavy sacrifice of money. Then came 
Severus, A.D. 207, who, in his efforts to subdue the barbarians 
lost over fifty thousand men, and was glad to retire within 
Adrian’s Wall, and rebuild it with stone. The first edifice of 
any note, of which we have an account, was a temple built by 
Chrispiness, the altar-stone of which was found in the beginning 
of the eighteenth century. We read of one, called the Worthy 
Knight Albanus, who, A.D. 303, was converted to the Christian 
faith, and became a great encourager of the Craft ; and us he 
was the first who suffered martyrdom for Christianity, it may 
not be difficult to account for his name having come down to us 
as “ St. Alban.” Dr. Anderson says, that “ the old Constitutions 
affirm, and the old English Masons as firmly believe H, that 
Carausius employed St. Alban to environ the city of Verulam 
with a stone wall, and to build therein a fine palace ; for which 
that British King made St. Alban steward of his household, 
and chief ruler of the realm. St. Alban also loved Masons 
well, and cherished them much, and he made their pay right 
good, viz., two shillings per week, and three pence to their 
cheer ; whereas, before that time, through all the land, a Mason 
had but a penny a day and his meat. He also obtained of the 
King a charter for the Freemasons, for to hold a General 
Council, and gave it the name of Assembly, and was thereat 
himself as Grand Master, and helped to make Masons, and gave 
them good charges and regulations.” 

It is a curious fact, and well worthy of notice, that several 
writers who contend that Masonry originated in the Garden of 
Fden, or, at least, in the days of Enoch, and continued to be 
oracticed in all countries, but especially in Greece and Rome, 
Jjt contend that Masonry was not introduced into Britain unti. 
the twelfth century, when it was sent there by a Lodge then 
recently established in Kilwinning, Scotland. Now, if 
Masonry was flourishing in Rome, A.D. 55, when Caesar visited 
Britain and laid the foundation of a colony, it is by no means 
unreasonable to suppose Masonry was soon after introduced, 
and we have no evidence of its introduction before the time 
3 f St. Alban, viz., near the close of the third century after 



Christ, can only be accounted for on the ground that tn^ 
Roman settlers were almost unceasingly harassed by the Piets. 
Saxons, and other northern tribes, for more than two hundred 
years, and it may be that no attempt had been made to establish 
a Lodge until the days of St. Alban, and yet it is not unlikelj 
that traveling Lodges existed m the Roman army, from the 
time of the first invasion, a record of which may have been lost. 
At any rate, we can not think it unreasonable to believe that 
St. Alban was a Mason, and that the Institution flourished in 
Britain during his day ; for it will be remembered that, long 
before this period, the natives in the South part of the Island 
had adopted the manners and customs of the Romans, and 
imitated them in the erection of buildings, and the cultivation 
of some of the sciences ; indeed, historians inform us that many 
of the more wealthy sent their sons to Rome, where they 
received a knowledge of the polite arts and the sciences, as 
taught in the best schools. Leland informs us that St. Alban 
was thus educated, and soon after his return home he was con- 
verted to the Christian faith by his fellow traveler, Amphibalus. 
Being a man of unblemished integrity, and unwavering in the 
honest discharge of all his duties, it may easily be seen that 
from his conversion he left no fit occasion unemployed to 
promulgate the doctrines of Christianity — thus rendering him- 
self obnoxious to the hatred and unrelenting persecutions of 
the infidels, in A.D. 303, when, in honor of his high birth and 
eminent learning, they condescended to behead him. 

Guthrie, in his History of England, tells us that the Emperor 
Carausius, who governed the Island at this period, was not only 
an accomplished architect, but gave great encouragement to 
learning and learned men, and he induced many distinguished 
architects to remove from Rome, so that at the close of his 
reign he had gathered around him a large body of accomplished 
workmen, many of whom were doubtless Masons : for about this 
period the city of Autun is spoken of as having suddenly grown 
into a beautiful town by the rebuilding of the ancient houses, 
and erecting splendid temples, and other public edifices, which 
attracted attention to the “ Roman Brotherhood/ 7 by which 
title the Masons were then best known in Britain. 



The British Empress Helena, wife of Constantius Chlorus, 
enclosed London with a stone wall A.D. 306. After the death 
of Constantius, Constantine the Great, his son, ruled with great 
wisdom, encouraging learning and the Christian religion, and 
during his reign the Emperor enjoyed the blessings of peace 
and prosperity. But soon after his death, A. I). 336, the 
Northerns joined with the Saxon pirates, and renewed hostilities 
with the South, which was continued, from time to time, with 
opposite results, until A.D. 410, when Honorius was forced to 
renounce the Roman sovereignty over Britain ; but, being 
reinforced, changed again the fortunes of war, until A.D. 420, 
when the Roman Legion was withdrawn, leaving the Southrons 
at the mercy of the northern barbarians, who overran the 
country, and destroyed many fine specimens of Roman art and 
Masonic skill. Masonry now dwindled into ruin on the Island, 
for the few Romans that remained became identified with the 
Southrons, and lost their influence with the natives. But many 
specimens of their Masonic art are still to be seen, among which 
is “Arthur’s Oven,” a temple erected by the Romans to their 
god Terminus. 

About A.D. 450, the Southrons invited the Saxons of Lower 
Germany to come over and assist them, which invitation was 
accepted by Prince Hengist, who brought over a small army, 
consisting of only two thousand men, and here commenced 
laying the foundation upon which was destined to be raised the 
great Saxon race. For more than three hundred years the 
Romans had tried in vain to maintain their foothold : they had 
lost in a single campaign fifty thousand men, and suffered 
innumerable defeats and disasters, until finally they were forced 
to withdraw their forces and abandon their claim ; but now 
two thousand Saxons joined the Southrons, drove before them 
the Scots and Piets; and, being from time to time reinforced, 
they succeeded in establishing seven kingdoms, when the 
Anglo-Saxons rapidly increased in numbers and power until 
King Arthur died, leaving the Britons with only a few petty 
Kings, whose powers were soon surrendered or taken from 
them. The Anglo-Saxons were a blood-thirsty, savage people, 
unacquainted with any science, unless a skill in butchering 



human beings be dignified with that appellation — then, indeed 
would they have high claims, for they deliberately murdered 
three hundred nobles at one time. But, nevertheless, the 
material for a great and chivalrous people lurked in their 
composition ; for very soon after they were converted to the 
Christian religion, the fruits of great and energetic minds were 
manifested. A.D. 597, about forty monks, sent by Pop* 
Gregory, converted all the Kings of the Heptarchy, when the 
island commenced changing its appearance as by a magic wand 
— churches, monasteries, and towns sprung up, and the arts and 
sciences were industriously cultivated — but they knew nothing 
of any but the Gothic order of architecture. 

The Cathedral of Canterbury was built A.D. 600 ; Roches- 
ter, A.D. 602 ; St. Paul’s, London, A.D. 604 ; St. Peter’s, 
Westminster, A.D. 603 ; but they were greatly deficient in the 
art of building until A.D. 710, when Kenred, King of England, 
rent to Charles Martel, then Grand Master of Masons in France, 
with a request that he would send some of his most skillful 
Masons to instruct the Anglo-Saxons, not only in geometry and 
architecture, but also in the ancient customs and usages of the 
Order. Martel cheerfully complied with this request; and 
while we have reason to admire the rapid strides that were 
9 oop after made in the cultivation of the arts and sciences, and 
the great moral influence exerted by the introduction of the 
Christian religion, we are, nevertheless, furnished with a strik- 
i ig instance, tending to show the proneness of man to pass 
suddenly from one extreme to another. This people had but 
lecently emerged from barbarism and irreligion ; they had but 
recently held in contempt the people and doctrines of Chris- 
tianity ; and yet, as soon as they embraced the doctrines of the 
Bible, no act was too rigorous, no taxes too high, to enforce the 
consummation of any and every plan devised b} r their priests 
to promote the interests of the Church. Masons were in high 
favor, and were courted by kings and princes ; for they alone 
could be relied on to erect churches and build splendid monas- 
teries, in every nook and corner of the earth. The common 
people were taxed until the Church owned nearly half the real 
estate in Britain and Scotland, and were lorded over until the)' 


l. r )3 

became, in effect, slaves to the Church, instead of worshipers of 
God. Nor did religious fanaticism stop here ; piety w r as not 
estimated by a godly walk and conversation, and an effort to 
reform the world by the mild teachings of our Saviour ; but a 
spirit of bigotry and intolerance crept into the Church, until 
practical religion assumed the appearance of a scourge, rather 
than a blessing to mankind. Thousands, both male and female, 
^eluded themselves in cloisters, and thus hid themselves from 
the face of men. spending the remnant of their days in moping 
from cell to cell, with a woebegone and ghastly countenance, as 
if God had created and filled this world with the rich bounties 
ol His munificent hand, to be appreciated and enjoyed by the 
beasts of the field and fowls of the air, while man was doomed 
to pass his pilgrimage on earth in a living grave ! 

But this inordinate religious zeal effected much good in the 
cultivation of the arts and sciences. Kings and queens, princes 
and nobles, priests and laymen, vied with each other in culti- 
vating a knowledge of geometry and architecture, in order tha 
costly churches, gorgeously ornamented, might spring up all 
over the land. Masons were courted and caressed by the heads 
of the Church, and although down to the close of the Heptarchy 
nothing was known about the use of brick, architecture con- 
tinued to advance, though confined to the clumsy Gothic order 

The Anglo-Saxons had always called the Britons Gualish or 
Walishmen, until after the days ' of King Arthur, when they 
denominated the settlement beyond the Severn, Walishland, or 
Wales. All the old French writers call this people Galles, 
from their ancestors, the Gauls. 

During the barbarous wars on the Island, for more than one 
hundred and sixty vears, Operative Masonry was almost entirely 
neglected ; but that Lodges continued to meet and practice 
their speculative, or moral rites, in Wales, w r e have reason to 
believe ; indeed, Operative Masonry did not lay dormant long, 
for, before the days of Martel, we find in that country numerous 
churches and other public buildings, erected by the Brotherhood. 

When Egbert succeeded to the sovereignty of the Six King- 
doms, A.D. 830, the Angles were more numerous than any 
uher tribe, and hence he called the country England, and the 



people Englishmen. Masonry continued to flourish unde* his 
reign, as also under those of Ethelwolf and Edward, Sen., whc 
was succeeded by Ethred, deputy King of Mercia, the husband 
of Edward’s sister ; she who became renowned as the great 
heroine of Mercia, because by her daring bravery she drove 
out the Danes. The next who had charge of the Craft was 
Ethelward, who founded the University of Cambridge, A.D. 
)18. The King died A.D. 924, and was succeeded by his son, 
Ethelstan, whose mother was a concubine. This King made his 
brother Edwin overseer of the Craft. Historians are divided 
in opinion as to whether Edwin was the brother or son of the 
King, and long, as well as contradictory, articles have been 
written to prove the one and the other, and to show that the 
King did, and did not, murder his son or brother. Dr. Anderson 
makes the following extract from the old Masonic records, 
which, in our opinion, settles the question that Edward was 
brother to the King : 

“ That though the ancient records of the Brotherhood, in 
England were most of them destroyed, or lost in the wars with 
the Danes, who burnt the monasteries where the records were 
kept, yet King Athelstan (the grandson of King Alfred), the 
first annointed King of England, who translated the Holy Bible 
nto the Saxon language, when he had brought the land into 
rest and peace, built many great works, and encouraged many 
Masons from France and elsewhere, whom he appointed over- 
seers thereof. They brought with them the charges and regu- 
lations of the foreign Lodges, and prevailed with the King to 
increase the wages. 

“That Prince Edwin, the King’s brother, being taught 
geometry and Masonry, for the love he had to the said Craft, 
and to the honorable principles whereon it is grounded, pur- 
chased a free charter of King Athelstan, his brother, for the 
Freemasons, having among themselves a correction, or a 
power and freedom to regulate themselves, to amend what 
might happen amiss, and to hold a yearly communication in a 
General Assembly. 

“ That, accordingly, Prince Edwin summoned all the Free 
and Accepted Masons in the realm to meet him in a congrest 



at York, who came and formed the Grand Lodge under him 
as their Grand Master, A.D. 926. 

“ That they brought with them many old writings and 
records of the Craft — some in Greek, some in Latin, some in 
French, and other languages ; and from the contents thereof 
they framed the Constitutions of the English Lodges, and 
made a law for themselves, to preserve and observe the same in 
all time coming.” 

Preston makes, in substance, the same extract, but prefaces 
them with the following rather singular remarks, viz.: 

“ A record of the Society, written in the reign of Edward IV., 
said to have been in the possession of the famous Elias Ashmole, 
founder of the Museum at Oxford, and which was unfortunately 
destroyed, with other papers on the subject of Masonry, at the 
Revolution, gives the following account of the state of Masonry 
at that period. ” * 

We regard these extracts as furnishing conclusive proof that 
the opinion that Masonry was first introduced into England 
through Kilwinning Lodge, of Scotland, in the twelfth century, 
is without foundation ; for the standing of Dr. Anderson, as an 
honorable and impartial historian, was too elevated to leave 
grounds to suppose he would give the foregoing, as extracts 
from the old records, if they were not to be found there ; and, 
moreover, it will be remembered that his history was, by order 
of the Grand Lodge of England, submitted to the severe 
scrutiny of a learned Committee, before it was sanctioned by 
that Grand body : but, above all this, we have a tradition 
which not only clearly points to the Convocation at York, in 
926, but sets forth the more important and unpublished reasons 
for the holding of said Convocation at that particular time. 
Indeed, the tradition referred to satisfactorily accounts for the 
addition of the word York to those of Ancient Free and 
A3cepted Mason. The intelligent and accomplished Mason 
will readily understand to what we allude, and agree with us 
that, although a change was not made in the body of Masonry, 
an important change was made in a portion of our ritual, which 

Preston's Illustrations , p. 141. 



change has ever been approved, and sacredly regarded by all 
good and true Lodges of Ancient Craft Masons. The addition 
of the word York has ever been used to show that the Masons 
approve of, and are governed by, the edicts of the said com- 
munication. If the change here alluded to had operated only 
in England, it might not now be regarded as a principle 
engrafted into our rules, but as it became a fixed law through 
out the world in conferring the two first degrees, we hold that 
no Grand Lodge is at liberty to drop the word York from the 
body of her charters — not that the name is essential to any 
principle or practice of our rites, but because it is commemo- 
rative of the event which made such action necessary, and 
points to a prominent evidence of the recuperative power of 
our time-honored and heaven-protected Institution, when assailed 
by traitors from within, or malevolence from without. 

Bro. Preston makes no allusion to the tradition of which 
we have been speaking ; he thinks the term York has grown 
into use because the first Grand Lodge in England, of which we 
have an account, was established at York. He says : “ From 
this era we date the reestablishment of Freemasonry in 
England. There is, at present, a Grand Lodge of Masons in the 
city of York, who trace their existence from this period. By 
virtue of Edwin’s charter, it is said, all the Masons in the realm 
were convened at a General Assembly in that city, where they 
established a General or Grand Lodge for their future govern- 
ment. Under the patronage and jurisdiction of this Grand 
Lodge, it is alleged, the Fraternity considerably increased, and 
kings, princes, and other eminent persons, who had been 
initiated into Masonry, paid due allegiance to that Grand 
Assembty. But, as the events of the times were various an 
fluctuating, that Assembly was more or less respectable ; and 
proportion as Masonry obtained encouragement, its infiuenc 
was more or less extensive. The appellation of Ancient Yomk 
Masons, is well known in Ireland and Scotland ; and the uni- 
versal tradition is, that the brethren of that appellation 
originated at Auldby, near York. This carries with it some 
marks of confirmation, for Auldby was the seat of Edwin. 

There is every reason to believe that York was deemed the 



original seat of Masonic government in that country ; as no 
other place has pretended to claim it, and as the whole Frater- 
nity have, at various times, universally acknowledged allegiance 
to the authority established there ; but whether the Association 
in that city was always entitled to that allegiance, is a sub- 
ject of inquiry which it is not in our province to investigate. 
To thatAssembly recourse must be had for information. Thus 
much, however, is certain, that if a General Assembly, or Grand 
Lodge, was held there (of which there is little doubt, if we can 
rely on our records and Constitutions, as it is said to have 
existed there in Queen Elizabeth’s time), there is no evidence of 
its regular removal to any other place in the kingdom ; and upon 
that ground, the brethren at York may probably have claimed 
the privilege of associating in that character. A number of 
respectable meetings of the Fraternity appear to have been 
convened, at sundry times, in different parts of England ; 
but we can not find an instance on record, till a very late period, 
of a general meeting (so called) being held in any other place 
than York. 

To understand the matter more clearly, it may be necessary 
to advert to the original institution of that Assembly, called 2 
General or Grand Lodge. It was not then restricted, as iv 
is now understood to be, to the Masters and Wardens of private 
Lodges, with the Grand Master and his Wardens at theii 
head ; it consisted of as many of the Fraternity at large as, 
being within a convenient distance, could attend once or twice 
in a year, under the auspices of one general head, elected and 
installed at one of these meetings, and who, for the time being 
received homage as the sole Governor of the whole body. The 
idea of confining the privileges of Masonry, by a warrant 0/ 
constitution, to certain individuals, convened on certain daya 
at certain places, had no existence. There was but one famih 
among Masons, and every Mason was a branch of that family 
Lc is true, the privileges of the different degrees of the Orde» 
always centered in certain numbers of the Fraternity, who 
according to their advancement in the Art, were authorized by 
me Ancient Charges to assemble in, hold, and rule Lodges, at 
inch will and discretion, in sach } laces as best suited their 



convenience, and, when so assembled, to receive pt^ik and 
deliver instructions in Masonry ; but all the tribute from these 
individuals, separately and collectively, rested ultimately in 
the General Assembly, to which all the Fraternity nr gib repair, 
and to whose award all were bound to pay submission. 

As the Constitutions of the English Lodges are derived from 
this General Assembly at Fork ; as all Masons are bound to 
observe and preserve those in all time coming ; and as there k 
no satisfactory proof that such an Assembly was ever regular h 
removed by the resolution of its members, but that, on the con- 
trary, the Fraternity continued to meet m that city under this 
appellation, it may remain a doubt, whether, while these 
Constitutions exist, as the standard of Masonic conduct, that 
Assembly might not justly claim the allegiance to which their 
original authority entitled them ; and whether any other conven- 
tion of Masons, however great their consequence might be, could 
consistently with those Constitutions withdraw their allegiance 
from that Assembly, or set aside an authoiity to which, not 
only antiquity, but the concurrent approbation of Masons for 
ages, and the most solemn engagements, have repeatedly given 
a sanction. 

It is to be regretted that the idea of superiority and a wish 
to acquire absolute dominion should occasion a contest among 
Masons. Were the principles of the Order better understood, 
and more generally practiced, the intention of the Institution 
would be more fully answered. Every Mason would consider 
his brother as his fellow, and he, who by generous and virtuous 
^actions could best promote the happiness of society, would 
always be most likely to receive homage and respect. 

King Athelstan encouraged the Craft by paying them mark- 
ed attention, and employed them in building many castles to 
keep in subjection the Danes. He also built the Abbey of St. 
John, in Yorkshire; Milton Abbey, in Dorsetshire; rebuilt 
the city of Exeter, and made some improvements at York. He 
died A.D. 940. 

From this period, during the reign of several kings, we 
”ead of nothing interesting, only so far as it relates to English 
history ; indeed, there is nothing of much interest to Masons 



for about one hundred years. In the reign of Edward the 
Confessor, who came to the throne A.D. 1041, a collection and 
compilation of the Saxon laws was made by order of the King. 
He was a lover of the arts and sciences, gave countenance to 
men of learning, and encouraged the Earl of Coventry, w T ho 
was remarkable for his wealth, as well as learning, to become 
the overseer of the Craft, and at their head he erected the 
Abbey of Coventry. The King rebuilt Westminster Abbey, 
and a number of other houses of worship. He died A.D. 1065. 

Harold II succeeded, and reigned less than a year, when 
he was slain in the battle of Hastings by William, Duke of 
Normandy, afterward, and to this day, known as William the 
Conqueror. This battle was fought A.D. 1066, about six hun- 
dred and seventeen years after the Anglo-Saxons entered Britain, 
under Hengist. William the Conqueror, reigned twenty-one 
years. He gave to Freemasons a powerful influence throughout 
the kingdom, for this proud Norman, having subdued the Eng- 
lish, improved every opportunity to make his conquest secure, 
and hand down the government in safety to his Norman succes- 
sors. He strengthened all his military posts ; to effect which 
he placed the Earls of Rochester and Shrewsbury at the head of 
the Craft ; who, in turn, appointed their deputies, or overseers, 
and all the Masons being organized into Lodges, they built 
the Tower of London, and the Castles of Hereford, Warwick, 
Winchester, Exeter, Durham, Dover, Stafford, York, Rochester, 
and New Castle : thus, in a single reign he accomplished more to 
render permanent the crown and perpetuate the monarchy than 
had been done by all previous kings. Nor was he unmindful 
of sacred architecture, for he built a splendid abbey near Hast- 
ings, and in honor of the great victory he won there, he called 
it Battle Abbev. He also built a number of other abbevs, and 
daring his reign there were erected monasteries and other 
religious houses, amounting to about sixty in number. Both 
Operative and Speculative Masonry were much benefited by 
the introduction of many accomplished Masons from France. 
The King died A.D. 1087. 

William II., succeeded his father, and employed the Craft in 
rebuilding London Bridge and a wall around the Tower. II? 



called all the master builders together, who, aftn due consul 
tation, advised the King to build the Castle of Westminster 
connected with which was the largest room in the world. 
Westminster Hall, as this large room is called, is two hundred 
and seventy feet long and seventy-four feet wide. The King 
died A. I). 1100. 

Henry I. succeeded, who granted to the Barons the first 
Magna Charta. During the reign of this King, more than 
one hundred churches were built. He died A.D. 1135, and 
was succeeded by Stephen, who was perpetually occupied in 
civil wars, urged on by himself and the Empress Maud. But, 
notwithstanding all the confusion and misrule consequent on 
civil commotions, in no reign of England’s Kings were so many 
castles built. The nobles and gentry were equally courted by 
the King and the Princess, and, taking advantage of this state 
of things, they erected over eleven hundred castles. The Ma- 
sons were constantly employed, as well as the soldiers. The 
Masons were under the government of Gilbert de Clare, as 
Grand Master. The King died A.D. 1154, and in him termi- 
nated the Norman line of Kings, after a reign, including Wil- 
liam, the Conqueror, of eighty-eight years. Here commenced 
the reign of the Plantagenets. 

Henry II., of Anjou, now ascended the throne. We find 
nothing in this reign of interest to Masons, except that the 
Knights Templar built their temple in Fleet Street, London. 
We do not remember that we have any account of the existence 
of this Society in England prior to this period. It is proper to 
observe, that Masonry continued to flourish ; they built a 
number of castles, and about one hundred churches in thk 
reign. The King died A.D. 1189. 

Richard I., reigned ten years, and died A.D. 1199. 

King John now ascended the throne. His chaplain, Peter, 
was chosen Grand Master, and under his superintendence 
London Bridge was rebuilt with stone, or rather it was com- 
menced by Peter and finished while William Almain was 
Grand Master, A.D. 1209. After Almain, Peter de Rupibus 
was chosen Grand Master, and Fitz Peter was principal over- 
seer of work, or, as modern writers would style him, Dfput} 



Grand Master. The King died A.D. 1216, and was succeeded 
by Henry III., a minor of nine years old, when Peter de Rupi- 
bus was chosen his guardian, who laid the corner-stone of 
Solomon’s Porch, in Westminster Abbey, A.D. 1218. The 
King died A.D. 1272. 

During this reign the famous College at Oxford was built, 
and the Templars erected their temple at Dover, which was 
called Domus Dei. 

Edward I. now reigned, and soon became involved in wars, 
hut the interests of the Craft were not neglected, for the excel- 
lent Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, was chosen Grand 
Master, and Ralph, of Mount Hermer, principal overseer. 
The King’s son, Edward, who was the first Prince of Wales — 
the Welsh having submitted to his father — was born A.D. 1284. 
The cape-stone of Westminster Abbey was celebrated by a 
trreat concourse of Masons, with great pomp, A.D. 128o. The 
King died in camp at Solway, after a short illness, on July 7, 
A.D. 1307, and was succeeded by Edward II., under whose 
reign Walter Stapleton was chosen Grand Master, and wisely 
governed the Craft. The King died A.D. 1327. Edward III. 
was the next King, who not only encouraged the cultivation 
^f the arts and sciences, but used every fit occasion to do honor 
to Masonry. lie it was who erected, at Windsor, a table, in a 
circular form, six hundred feet in circumference, for the purpose 
alone of feasting the Craft. This Prince, by general consent, 
assumed the government of the Fraternity as Grand Master, 
and appointed the most skillful and accomplished workmen 
overseers, among whom was John de Spoulee, who was stvlcd 
Master of the Giblim* and who rebuilt St. George’s Chapel, 
in which place the King instituted the Order of the Garter, 
A.D. 1350. William Wickham was overseer of four hundred 
Masons, and Robert Barnham of two hundred and iifty. About 
this time Henry Yeuele, who is spoken of as the King’s Free- 
mason, superintended the building of the London Charter 
House, Queensborough Castle, and rebuilt St. Stephen’s Chapel, 
afterward the House of Commons in Parliament. But this 


* Master of the itone squarera. 



roign is most interesting to Masons on account of some addi- 
tional regulations for the government of the Craft, adopted by 
a Convention of Masons and approved by the King.* It may 
be observed in this as well as all other instances, where any 
amendments have been made to the ancient rules, great care 
was taken to make no change in the Landmarks of the Order ; 
but the custom, in all ages, leaves no doubt on our mind that' 
Masons are, at all times, at liberty so to modify and change the 
rules, having reference to the moral government of the members 
as to adapt them to the political and religious condition of a 
God-fearing people ; and hence it is that Masonry, more than 
any moral Association of men, may be admirably suited to all 

* An old record of the Society runs thus : 

“In the glorious reign of King Edward III., when Lodges were more frequent 
the Right Worshipful the Master and Fellows, with consent of the lords of the 
realm (for most great men were then Masons), ordained, 

“That, for the future, at the making or admission of a brother, the Constitution 
and the Ancient Charges should be read by the Master or Warden. 

“ That such as were to be admitted Master Masons, or Master of work, should 
be examined whether they be able of cunning to serve their respective lords ; as 
well the lowest as the highest, to the honor and worship of the aforesaid Art, 
and to the profit of the lords ; for they be their lords that employ and pay them 
for their service and travel.” 

The following particulars are also contained in a very old MS., of which a copy 
is said to have been in the possession of the late George Payne, Esq., Grand 
Master in 1728 : 

“ That when the Master and Wardens meet in a Lodge, if need be, the sheriff 
of the county, or the mayor of the city, or alderman of the town, in which the 
eongregation is held, should be made Fellow and Sociate to the Master, in help 
of him against rebels, and for the upbearing the rights of the realm. 

“That Entered Prentices, at their making, were charged not to be thieves or 
thieves’ maintainers ; that they should travel honestly for their pay, and love 
their fellows as themselves, and be true to the King of England, and to the realm, 
and to the Lodge. 

“ That at such congregations, it shall be inquired, whether any Master or 
Fellow has broke any of the articles agreed to ; and if the offender, being duly 
cited to appear, prove rebel, and will not attend, then the Lodge shall determine 
against him. that he shall forswear (or renounce) his Masonry, and shall no more 
use this Craft ; the which, if he presume for to do, the sheriff of the county shall 
prison him, and take all his goods into the King’s hand till his grace be granted 
him and issued. For this cause principally have these congregations been 
ordained, that as well the lowest as the highest should be well and truly serv d 
m ihij Art aforesaid, throughout all the Kingdom of England, Amen, so mote 
It ce ” 


religions where a belief in one God is held. But wr can nr 
too o forcibly impress upon the minds of our readers the fallacy 
of that theory which represents Masonry as being practiced in 
every land and by every people. If it is the same everywhere 
— and it must be so — how can that people, who deny the supre 
macy of God, or sub-divide His attributes among a variety of 
finite beings and even inanimate things, practice Masonry, 
when the most imperative and unalterable rule demands, as a 
prerequisite to admission, an unconditional and unwavering 
belief in one God ? If a Lodge exists in any part of the world 
where its members are Atheists, or hold to the existence of a 
plurality of gods, it has been introduced there by some God- 
forsaken wretch, and can never be recognized as one in our 
midst. To us, it seems passing strange that the Quixotic notion 
that Freemasonry is everywhere to be found is tolerated by 
those who assume to have studied its principles and undertake 
to teach its doctrines to the Craft and to the world. It is not 
remarkable that men, stimulated by a love of gold, should col- 
lect together a bundle of novelties, and prate about the timeless 
antiquity and unlimited existence of Masonry, if, when they 
have published the jumble, it is to be lauded and praised, quoted 
from and republished by teachers of Masonic principles and 
Masonic law. Men who are governed by no higher views than 
to “ put money in their purse,” will print and publish that 
which will sell best. Whatever may be the course of others, 
ours shall be the task of lending whatever of moral aid we can 
command, to throw over among the rubbish every stone that is 
not fit for the builder’s use, and do honor to those whose work 
will pass inspection. 


King Edward's son Edward, commonly styled the Black 
Prince, died A.D. 1376, the King died the next year, and 
was succeeded by Richard II. Under his reign, the Bishop of 
Winchester was chosen Grand Master, who rebuilt Westminster 
Hall, and, at his own expense, built New College, at Oxford. 
He also founded Winchester College. While the King was on 
a visit to Ireland, his cousin Henry, Duke of Lancaster, who 
was intriguing for the crown, raised a large army, met and 
seized the King, and overawed the Parliament to depose him, 
and was thus enabled to mount the throne as Henry IV., A.D. 
1399. F'itz Allen, Earl of Surrey, was now Grand Master, 
who founded Guild Hall, and superintended the building of 
several other public edifices. The King died A.D. 1413, and 
was succeeded by his son, Henry V., whose reign presents 
nothing of much interest to Masons. He died A.D. 1422, and 
was succeeded by Henry VI., a minor nine months old. In the 
third year of this reign, a Parliament, composed of men admira- 
bly portraying the gross ignorance and superstition of the age, 
attempted to put down Masonry by the passage of the following 
act : 

“ 3 Hen. VI. cap. 1. A.D. 1425. 

“ Masons shall not confederate in chapters and congregations . 

“ Vvhereas, by the yearly congregations and confederacies made 
by the Masons in their General Assemblies, the good course and 
effect of the statutes of laborers be openly violated and broken, 
in subversion of the law, and to the great damage of all the 
commons ; our sovereign lord, the King, willing, in this case, 
to provide a remedy, by the advice and consent aforesaid, and 
at the special request of the commons, hath ordained and 



established that such chapters and congregations shall not be 
hereafter holden ; and if any such be made, they that cause 
such chapters and congregations to be assembled, and holden, 
if they thereof be convicted, shall be judged for felons : and 
that the other Masons, that come to such chapters or congre- 
gations, be punished by imprisonment of their bodies, and make 
tine and ransome at the Kind’s will.” 

But the Masons so far disregarded it as to laugh at the 
founders and officers of the unjust law, and this stupid act of 
Parliament was never enforced. At this period, Archbishop 
Chicheley was at the head of the Craft, as Grand Master, by 
whose authority new Lodges were formed at various places, 
great harmony prevailed in them, and, if we make proper 
allowance for the depressed condition of learning, we must 
believe that the principles of Masonry were practiced as 
generally after the passage of the prohibitory act, as before. 
But as the Masons of the present day may feel interested in 
knowing the causes which led to this action on the part of 
Parliament, we give the most accurate detail we have anywhere 
met with, in the language of Mr. Preston : 

“ The Duke of Bedford, at that time regent of the kingdom, 
being in France, the regal power was vested in his brother 
Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester* who was styled Protector and 
Guardian of the Kingdom. The care of the young King’s person 
and education was entrusted to Henry Beaufert, Bishop of 
Winchester, the Duke’s uncle. The Bishop was a prelate of 
great capacity and experience, but of an intriguing and dan- 
gerous character. As he aspired to the sole government of 
affairs, he had continual disputes with his nephew, the Protector, 
and gained frequent advantages over the vehement and impolitic 
temper of that Prince. Invested with power, he soon began to 

• This Prince is said to have received a more learned education than waR usual 
in his age : to have founded one of the first public libraries in England, and to 
have been a great patron of learned men. If the records of the Society may bo 
relied on, we have reason to believe, that he was particularly attached to the 
Masons, having been admitted into their Order, and assisted at the initiation of 
King IIenry,ln 1442. 



show his pride and haughtiness, and wanted not followers and 
agents to augment his influenced 7 * 

The animosity between the uncle and nephew daily increased, 
and the authority of Parliament was obliged to interpose. On 
the last day of April, 1425, the Parliament met at Westminster. 
The servants and followers of the peers coming thither armed 
with clubs and staves, occasioned its being named the Batt 
Parliament. Several laws were made ; and, among the rest, 
the act for abolishing the Society of Masons.t The Masonic 

* In a Parliament held at Westminster on November 17, 1443, to an- 
swer a particular end, it was ordained, “ That if any person committed foi 
grand or petty treason, should wilfully break out of prison, and, escape from the 
same, it should be deemed petty treason, and his goods be forfeited.” About this 
time one William King, of Womolion, in Yorkshire, servant of Sir Robert Scott, 
Lieutenant of the Tower, pretended that he had been offered by Sir John 
Mortimer (cousin to the lately deceased Edward Mortimer, Earl of March, the 
nearest in blood to the English crown, and then a prisoner in the Tower), ten 
pounds to buy him clothes, with forty pounds a year, and to be made an Earl, if 
he would assist Mortimer in making his escape ; that Mortimer said he would 
raise forty thousand men on his enlargement, and would strike off the heads of 
the rich Bishop of Winchester, the Duke of Gloucester, and others. This fellow 
undertook to prove upon oath the truth of his assertion. A short time after, a 
scheme was formed to cut off Mortimer, and an opportunity soon offered to carry 
it into execution. Mortimer, being permitted one day to walk to the Tower 
wharf, was suddenly pursued, seized, brought back, accused of breaking out of 
prison and of attempting his escape. He was tried, and the evidence of King 
being admitted, was convicted, agreeably to the late statute, and afterward 

The death of Mortimer occasioned great murmuring and discontent among the 
people, and threatened a speedy subversion of those in power. Many hints were 
thrown out, both in public and private assemblies, of the fatal consequences which 
were expected to succeed this commotion. The amazing progress it made, justly 
alarmed the suspicions of the ambitious prelate, who spared no pains to exert his 
power on the occasion. 

f Dr. Anderson, in the first edition of the Booh of Constitutions, in a note makes 
the following observation on this act : 

“ This act was made in ignorant times, when true learning was a crime and 
geometry condemned for conjuration ; but it can not derogate from the honor of 
the ancient Fraternity, who, to be sure, would never encourage any such con- 
federacy of their working brethren. By tradition it is believed that the Pallia- 
ment were then too much influenced by the illiterate clergy, who were not 
Accepted Masons, nor understood architecture (as the clergy of some former 
ages), and were generally thought unworthy of this Brotherhood. Thinking 


167 - 

meetings being secret, attracted the attention of the aspiring 
prelate, who determined to suppress them.* 

they had an indefeasible right to know all secrets, by virtue of auricular con- 
fession, and the Masons never confessing any thing thereof, the said clergy 
«-ere highly offended, and at first suspecting them of wickedness, represented 
them as dangerous to the State during that minority, and soon influenced the 
Parliament to lay hold of such supposed arguments of the working Masons, for 
making an act that might seem to reflect dishonor upon even the whole Frater- 
Vity, in whose favor several acts had been before and after that period made.” 

* The Bishop was diverted from his persecution of the Masons by an affair in 
which he was more nearly concerned. On the morning of St. Simon and St. 
Jude’s Day, after the Lord Mayor of London had returned to the city from West- 
minster, where he had been taking the usual charges of his high office, he received 
a special message, while seated at dinner, from the Duke of Gloucester, requiring 
his immediate attendance. He immediately repaired to the palace, and being 
introduced into the presence, the Duke commanded his Lordship to see that the 
city was properly watched the following night, as he expected his uncle would 
endeavor to make himself master of it by force, unless some effectual means were 
adopted to stop his progress. This command was strictly obeyed ; and at nine 
o’clock the next morning the Bishop of Winchester, with his servants and 
followers, attempting to enter the city by the bridge, were prevented by the 
vigilance of the citizens, who repelled them by force. This unexpected repulse 
enraged the haughty prelate, who immediately collected a numerous body of 
archers and other men at-arms, and commanded them to assault the gate with 
shot. The citizens immediately shut up their shops and crowded to the bridge in 
great numbers, when a general massacre would certainly have ensued, had it not 
been for the timely interposition and prudent administration of the Mayor and 
Aldermen, who happily stopped all violent measures, and prevented a great 
effusion of blood. 

The Archbishop of Canterbury and Peter, Duke of Coimbra, eldest son of the 
King of Portugal, with several others, endeavored to appease the fury of the 
two contending parties, and, if possible, to bring about a reconciliation between 
them, but to no purpose, as neither party would yield. They rode eight or ten 
times backward and forward, using every scheme they could devise to prevent 
further extremities ; at last they succeeded in their mediation, and brought the 
parties to a conformity ; when it was agreed that all hostile proceedings should 
*lrop on both sides, and the matter be referred to the award of the Duke of 
Bedford ; on which peace was restored, and the city remained in quiet. 

The Bishop lost no time in transmitting his case to the Duke of Bedford ; and 
in order to gloss it over with the best colors, wrote the following letter : 

“Right high and mighty Prince, and my right noble, and after one leinest 
[earthly] lord ; I recommend me unto your grace with all my heart. And as 
you desire the welfare of the King, our sovereign lord, and of his realms of Eng- 
land and France, your own weal [health] with all yours, haste you hither. For 
by my troth., if you tarry long, we shall put this land in jeopardy [adventure 



The sovereign authority being vested in the Duke of G-lou 
cester, as protector of the realm, the execution of the laws, 
and all that related to the civil magistrate, centered in him ; a 

with a field, such a brother as you have here ; God make him a good man. Foe 
your wisdom well knoweth that the profit of France standeth in the welfare of 
England, etc. The blessed Trinity keep you. Written in great haste at London, 
on All-hallowen-even, the 31st of October, 1425. 

“ By your servant, to my lives ends, 

“ HENRY, Winchester.” 

This letter had the desired effect, and hastened the return of the Duke of 
Bedford to London, where he arrived on January 10, 1425-6. On February 21* 
he held a great council at St. Albans ; adjourned it to March 15 at Northampton, 
and to June 25 at Leicester. Bats and staves being now prohibited, the follow- 
ers of the members of Parliament attended with stones in a sling and plummets 
of lead. The Duke of Bedford employed the authority of Parliament to reconcile 
the differences which had broken out between his brother and the Bishop of 
Winchester ; and obligated these rivals to promise before that assembly that they 
would bury all quarrels in oblivion. Thus the long wished for peace between 
these two great personages was, to all appearances, accomplished. 

During the discussion of this matter before Parliament, the Duke of Gloucester 
exhibited the following charges, among five others, against the Bishop of Win- 
chester : “ That he had, in his letter to the Duke of Bedford, at France, plainly 
declared his malicious purpose of assembling the people, and stirring up a rebel- 
lion in the nation, contrary to the King's peace.” 

The Bishop’s answer to this accusation was : “ That he had never had any 
intention to disturb the peace of the nation, or raise a rebellion-, but that he 
lent to the Duke of Bedford to solicit his speedy return to England, to settle all 
those differences which were so prejudicial to the peace of the kingdom ; that 
though he had indeed written in the letter that if he tarried we should put 


mean it of any design of his own, but concerning the seditious assemblies of 
masons, carpenters, tylers, and plasterers ; who, being distasted by the iate act 
of Parliament against the excessive wages of those trades, had given out many 
seditious speeches and menaces against certain great men, which tended much to 
rebellion ; * that the Duke of Gloucester did not use his endeavor, as he ought to 
have done in his place, to suppress such unlawful assemblies ; so that he feared 
the King and his good subjects must have made a field to withstand tfiem ; t< 
prevent which he chiefly desired the Duke of Bedford to come over.” 

As the Masons are unjustly suspected of having given rise to the above civil 
commotions. I thought it necessary to insert the foregoing particulars, in order 
to clear them from this false charge. Most of the circumstances here mentioned 
are extracted from Wolfe’s Chronicle , published by Stowe. 

* The above particulars are extracted from one of Elias Ashmole’s MSS. on the subject of Fr«* 
memoir J 



fortunate circumstance for the Masons at this critical time. The 
Duke, knowing them to be innocent of the accusations which 
the Bishop of Winchester had laid against them, took them 
under his protection, and transferred the charge ot rebellion, 
sedition, and treason from them to the Bishop and his followers : 
who, he asserted, were the first violators of the public peace, 
and the most rigorous promoters of civil discord. 

The Bishop, sensible that his conduct could not be justified 
by the laws of the land, prevailed on the King, through the 
intercession of the Parliament, whose favor his riches had ob- 
tained, to grant letters of pardon for all offenses committed by 
him, contrary to the statute of provisors, and other acts of 
pramiunire ; and five years afterward, procured another pardon, 
under the great seal, for all crimes whatever, from the creation 
of the world to the 26th of July, 1437. 

Notwithstanding these precautions of the Cardinal, the Duke 
uf Gloucester drew up, in 1442, fresh articles of impeachment 
against him, and presented them in person to the King ; 
earnestly entreating that judgment might be passed upon him 
according to his crimes. The King referred the matter to his 
council, which was at that time composed principally of 
ecclesiastics, who extended their favor to the Cardinal, and 
made such a slow progress in the business, that the Duke, 
wearied out with their tedious delays and fraudulent evasions, 
dropped the prosecution, and the Cardinal escaped. 

Nothing could now remove the inveteracy of the Cardinal 
against the Duke ; he resolved to destroy the man whose popu- 
larity might become dangerous, and whose resentment he had 
reason to dread. The Duke having always proved a strenuous 
friend to the public, and, by the authority of his birth and 
station, having hitherto prevented absolute power from being 
vested in the King’s person, Winchester was enabled to gain 
many partisans, who were easily brought to concur in the ruin 
of the prince.* 

* The Bishop planned the following scheme at this time to irritate the Duke ot 
Gloucester: — His Duchess, the daughter of Reginald Lord Cobham. had been ac- 
cused of the crime of v\ itcheralt, and it was pretended that a waxen figure of tht 



To accomplish this purpose, the Bishop and his party concert* 
ed a plan to murder the Duke. A Parliament was summoned 
to meet at St. Edmondsbury, in 1447, where they expected he 
would lie entirely at their mercy. Having appeared on the 
second day of the sessions, he was accused of treason, and 
thrown into prison, where he was found, the next day, cruelly 
murdered. It was pretended that his death was natural ; but 
though his body, which was exposed to public view, bore no 
marks of outward injury, there was little doubt of his having 
fallen a sacrifice to the vengeance of his enemies. After this 
dreadful catastrophe, five of his servants were tried for aiding 
him in his treasons, and condemned to be hanged, drawn, and 
quartered. They were hanged accordingly, cut down aliva 
stripped naked, and marked with a knife to be quartered 
when the Marquis of Suffolk, through a mean and pitiful affec- 
tation of popularity, produced their pardon, and saved their 
lives : the most barbarous kind of mercy that can possibly be 
imagined ! 

The Duke of Gloucester’s death was universally lamented 
throughout the kingdom. He had long obtained, and deserved 
the surname of Good. He was a lover of his country, the friend 
of good men. the protector of Masons, the patron of the learned, 
and the encourager of every useful art. His inveterate perse- 
cutor, the hypocritical Bishop, stung with remorse, scarcely 
survived him two months ; when, after a long life spent in 
falsehood and politics, he sunk into oblivion, and ended his 
days in misery. * 

King was found in her possession; which she, and her associates, Sir Roger 
Bolingbroke, a priest, and one Margery Jordan, of Eye, melted in a magical 
manner before a slow fire, with an intention of making Henry’s force and vigor 
waste away by like insensible degrees. The accusation was well calculated to 
affect the weak and credulous mind of the King, and gain belief in an ignorant 
age. The Duchess was brought to trial, with her confederates, and the prisoners 
were pronounced guilty ; the Duchess was condemned to do public penance in 
London for three days, and to suffer perpetual imprisonment ; the others were 

The Protector, provoked at such repeated insults offered to his uchess, made 
a noble and stout resistance to these most abominable and shameful proceedings 
out it unfortunately ended in his own destruction. 

* The wickedness of the Cardinal’s life, and his mean, base, and unmanly 



After the death of the Cardinal, the Masons continued lo 
hold their Lodges without danger of interruption. Henry 
established various seats of erudition, which he enriched with 
ample endowments, and distinguished by peculiar immunities; 
thus inviting his subjects to rise above ignorance and bar- 
barisin, and reform their turbulent and licentious manners. In 
1442, he was initiated into Masonry, and, from that time, spar- 
ed no pains to obtain a complete knowledge of the art. He 
perused the Ancient Charges, revised the constitutions, and with 
the consent of his council, honored them with his sanction. 

The ancient records show that, during this King’s minority, 
a Lodge was in successful operation at Canterbury, and the 
name of Thomas Stapvlton is recorded as Master, John Morris 
Custos as Warden ; also, fifteen Fellow Crafts, and three 
Entered Apprentices are named in the same record. It may 
also be seen in a record, made in the reign of Edward IV., the 
following language is used : — “ The company of Masons, being 
otherwise known or termed Freemasons, of auntient staunding 
and good reckoning, by Means of affable and kind Meetings 
dvverse tymes, and as a loving brotherhood use to do, did 
frequent this mutual Assembly in the tyme of Henry VI., in the 
Twelfth yeare of his most gracious reign, viz., A.D. 1434, 
when Henry was aged thirteen years.” The same record says 
further : — “ That the charges and laws of the Freemasons have 
been seen and perused bv our late sovereign king, Henry VI. , 
and by the lords of his most honorable council, who have 

death, will ever be a bar against any vindication of his memory, for the good 
which he did while alive, or which the money he had amassed could do after his 
death. When in his last moments, he was heard to utter these mean expressions: 
i Why should I die, who am possessed of so much wealth? If the whole kingdom 
ould save my life, I am able, by my policy, to preserve it. or, by my money to 
purchase it. Will not death be brfbed. and money do every thing? The inimit- 
able Shakespeare, after giving a most horrible picture of despair, and a tortured 
conscience, in the person of the cardinal, introduces King Henry to him with 
these sharp and piercing words : 

“ Lord Cardinal, if thou think’st on heaven’s bliss, 

Lift up thy hand make signal of that hope.” 

He die**, and makes no sign. — H ex. VI,, Act 3. 

“ The memory of the wicked shall rot, but the unjustly persecuted shall be had 
in everlasting remembrance.” 



allowed them, and declared that they be right good and 
reasonable to be holden, as they have been drawn out and 
collected from the records of auntient tymes,” etc., etc. 

From this it appears that, before the troubles which happened 
in the reign of this unfortunate prince, Freemasons were held 
in high estimation. 

The Grand Master, Chicheley, died 1443, after having gov- 
erned the Craft with great skill, and superintended the building 
of All Souls, Bernard, and other colleges and public buildings. 
Indeed, the reign of Henry YI. is remarkable for the number 
of colleges founded and built. After the death of Chicheley, 
Wanefleet was chosen Grand Master, who superintended the 
building of Eton College, Cambridge, and Queen’s College, and 
a number of churches at various places. This Grand Master 
erected, at his own cost, Magdalen College, at Oxford. But 
Masonry, as also the arts and sciences, were destined to be 
greatly interrupted in this reign, which for a time promised so 
much for the cause of learning. The King had done all that a 
wise and prudent Prince could do to raise his subjects from the 
low and degraded condition in which he found them, to an 
elevated station among the nations of the earth ; but the bloody 
civil wars, the inhuman butcheries of seventeen years, between 
the white and red roses, or the royal houses of York and Lan- 
caster, struck a death blow to learning, and Masonry languish^ 


Richard, Duke of York, son of Richard, Earl of Cambridge, 
aud Ann Mortimer, claimed the crown in right of his mother. 
The house of Lancaster were the descendants of John a Gaunt, 
and adopted the red rose as an insignia by which its followers 
were kr.own. The house of York, for similar reasons adopted 
the white rose. The civil wars which arose and were carried 
on by these two houses, were not induced by a desire of either 
party to establish any new principle in government, nor in any 
way to benefit the masses, but simply to determine which of the 
families should have the honor of furnishing England with her 
kings ; and after deluging the country with blood, the red rose 
was defeated. Nor were the dominant party satisfied with 
victory and a ruling prince of their party, but Henry YI. w r as 
murdered, and the males of every branch of his family were cut 
off by assassination. 

As it seems to be pretty well authenticated that Henry YI. 
was a Mason, and did much to advance the interests of the 
craft, we feel it to be our duty to give the celebrated paper, said 
to have been found in the Bodleian Library, in the handwriting 
of Henry. We give the paper in the same language it was 
said to have been originally written in, together with the letter 
and comments of the learned John Locke : 

A Letter from the learned Mr. John Locke , to the Right Honor a 
hie , Thomas , Earl of Pembroke , with an old Manuscript on the 
subject of Freemasonry : 

May 6th. 1696. 

My Lord : — I have at length, by the help of Mr. Collins, pro- 
cured a copy of that MS. in the Bodleian library, which you were 
so curious to see ; and in obedience to your Lordship's com- 
mands, I herewith send it to you. Most of the notes annexed 



to it are what I made yesterday for the reading of my Lady 
Mash am, who is become so fond of Masonry, as to say, that she 
now more than ever wishes herself a man, that she might be 
capable of admission into the Fraternity. 

The MS., of which this is a copy, appears to be about one 
hundred and sixty years old ; yet (as your Lordship will observe 
by the title), it is itself a copy of one yet more ancient by about 
one hundred years ; for the original is said to be the hand- 
writing of King Henry YI. Where that Prince had it, is at 
present an uncertainty, but it seems to me to be an examination 
(taken perhaps before theKing) of some one of the brotherhood 
of Masons ; among whom he entered himself, as it is said, when 
he came out of his minority, and thenceforth put a stop to a 
oersecution that had been raised against them. But I must not 
detain your Lordship longer by my preface, from the thing itself. 

I know not what effect the sight of this old paper may have 
upon your Lordship ; but, for my own part, I can not deny thatlt 
has so much raised my curiosity, as to induce me to enter myself 
into the Fraternity, which I am determined to do (if I may be 
admitted) the next time I go to London, and that will be 
shortly. I am, 

My Lord, your Lordship’s most ob’t and most humble servant, 

John Locke. 

Certayne Questyons, with Answeres to the same , concerning the 
Mystery of Maconrye ; writtene by the hand of kynge Henrye, 
the sixthe of the name , and faithfully ccrpyed by me * John A 
Leylande, Antiquarius , by the commande of his Highnesse. + 
They be as followethe, 

Q. — What mote ytt be ? X 

* John Leylande was appointed by Henry VIII., at the dissolution of Monas- 
teries, to search for and save such books and records as were valuable among 
them. He was a man of great labor and industry. 

f His Highness, meaning the said King Henry VIII. Our kings had not then 
the title of Majesty. 

I What mote ytt be ? That is, What may this mystery of Masonry be ? The 
answer imports that it consists in natural, mathematical, and mechanical know- 
ledge. Some part of which (as it appears by what follows), the Masons pretend to 
have taught the rest of mankind, and some part they still conceal. 



A. —Ytt bectli the skylle of nature, the understondynge of the 
inygLr,e that ys hereynne, and its sondrye werkynges ; sonder- 
lyche, the skylle of reckenyngs, of waights and metygnes, and 
die true manere of faconnynge al thyngs for mannes use ; head 
lye, dwellings, and buyldyngs of alle kindes, and all odlier thynges 
that make gudde to manne. 

Q.— Where dyd it begynne i 

A. — Ytt dydd begynne with the* * fyrste manne yn the este 
why cli were before the * fiyrste manne of the weste, and comyingo 
westlye, ytt hath broughte herwyth alle comfortes to the wylde 
and comfortlesse. 

Q. — Who dyd brynge ytt westlye ? 

A. — The * Venetians, wlioo beynge grate merchaundes, corned 
fiyrste ffromme the este ynn Venetia, for the commodyte of 
marchaundysynge beithe este and weste bey the redde and 
myddlonde sees. 

Q. — How comede ytt yn Engelonde ? 

A. — Peter Gower, t a Grecian, journeyedde ffor kunnynge yn 

* Fyrste menne yn the este, etc. It should seem by this, that Masons believe 
there were men in the East before Adam, who is called the ‘ fiyrste manne cf the 
weste and that arts and sciences began in the East. Some authors of great 
note for learning, have been of the same opinion ; and it is certain that Europe 
aud Africa (which, in respect to Asia, may be called western countries), were 
wild and savage, long after arts and politeness of manners were in great perfec- 
tion in China and the Indies. 

* The Venetians, etc. In the times of monkish ignorance, it is no wonder that 
the Phenicians should be mistaken for the Venetians. Or, perhaps, if the people 
were not taken one for the other, similitude of sound might deceive the clerk 
who first took down the examination. The Phenicians were the greatest voyagers 
among the ancients, and were in Europe thought to be the inventors of letters, 
which, perhaps, they brought from the East with other arts. 

f Peter Gower. This must be another mistake of the writer. I was puzzled 
at first to guess who Peter Gower should be. the name being perfectly English ; 
or bow a Greek should come by such a name ; but as soon as I thought of 
Pythagoras, I could scarce forbear smiling, to find that philosopher had under- 
gone a metempsychosis he never dreamed of. We need only consider the French 
pronunciation of his name, I’ythagore, that is, Petagore, to conceive how easily 
such a mistake may be made by an unlearned clerk. That Pythagoras traveled 
for knowledge into Egypt, etc., is known to all the learned ; and that he waa 
initiated into several different orders of priests, who, in those days, kept all 
their learning secret from the vulgar, is as well known. Pythagoras also made